A Pain in the Neck and How Your Posture Affects It

by Jan 6, 2020

It can be achy, dull, sharp, tingly, burning, throbbing, diffuse, persistent, and even meld into a headache or jaw pain. Yet despite the differences, many people are in the same boat as rates of reported neck pain continue to increase.

Poor Posture Sitting at a Desk

Approximately 86% of Americans work at a desk all day, every day,[1] and a study of office workers in 2014 showed a positive correlation between forward head posture and neck pain.[2] If you’re not currently at your desk (most likely you are since you’re reading this article), then imagine what it feels like after two, four, even six hours sitting and typing in front of a screen. Maybe you had good intentions at hour one with a nice straight spine, but soon the tedium takes its toll and your head sinks forward, your back rounds, and your shoulders slump down. Sound familiar?

Your Skeleton and Muscles Will Set Into This New Form

The problem with this armadillo posture is that it’s not simply a matter of comfort; if its habitual, your skeleton and muscles will set into this new form, preventing you from unwinding without serious and intentional effort.  And I don’t mean the grunting effort of dead lifting 300lbs and feeling like a champ. I mean daily exercises, manual therapies, and intentional posture realignment for months. It took months or years to incrementally inch your body into that armadillo shape, so don’t expect a few stretches over a few days to rehabilitate you.

Seek Treatment for Your Neck Pain

It’s not all grey skies and thunderclouds though; plenty of people have come through my treatment room struggling with postural pain, especially in the neck. With regular treatment, daily exercises and stretches I see them stand more erect, move more freely, and return with less pain each time. My exhortation to you, if you’re reading this while rubbing that ache in your neck, is please don’t just suck it up and deal with it. Nine times out of ten the pain doesn’t float away on a rainbow bubble like Galinda the Good Witch. Rather it keeps showing up in a stench of green fog with a threat of future pain like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Give us a call to learn more about what Moyer Total Wellness can do for you to relieve your neck pain for good.


Written by: Emily Arnold, LMT

Photo Credit: Canva


[1] Ergotron. “New Survey: To Sit or Stand? Almost 70% of Full Time American Workers Hate Sitting, but They Do It All Day Every Day.” PR Newswire: Press Release Distribution, Targeting, Monitoring and Marketing, 29 June 2018, www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-survey-to-sit-or-stand-almost-70-of-full-time-american-workers-hate-sitting-but-they-do-it-all-day-every-day-215804771.html.

[2] Nejati, Parisa, et al. “The Relationship of Forward Head Posture and Rounded Shoulders with Neck Pain in Iranian Office Workers.” Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iran University of Medical Sciences, 3 May 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4154278/.

Read More from Our Blog

woman kneeling in a grey workout top and black leggings

Muscle Group of the Week: Hip Flexors

Hip flexors, as the name clearly suggests, are the muscles responsible for hip flexion.  We’ve...
mans lower half of the body wearing red shorts on the leg extension machine

Muscle Group of the Week: Quadriceps

The quadriceps femoris – known as the quadriceps extensors, quads, or the quadriceps – is a group...
lower half of woman on an elliptical in pink and grey leggings

Muscle Group of the Week: Glutes

The gluteal muscle group consists of three individual buttock muscles that originate from the...
tape on a hamstring

Muscle Group of the Week: Hamstrings

The biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus are the three posterior thigh muscles...
lower half of man grabbing calves on a dirt trail

Muscle Group of the Week: Calves

The posterior lower leg consists of two main calf muscles known as the gastrocnemius and the...