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Putting your neck on the line - Exam time

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  • Are you spending hours on end at the library preparing for exams?
  • Getting a sore neck, back or headaches?
  • Finding yourself stooped over your laptop or desk towards the end of the day?

Exam time is a stressful time for students, you spend most of your days hovered over a laptop or notebook studying. Unfortunately, this can lead to neck pain.


Why is your neck getting sore?

When you slouch over your laptop or notebook when studying, this puts your shoulders and head in a non-functional position. Holding this position like you do when studying for hours causes the muscles in our neck to become overworked and tired.

Not only this but when we become stressed we tend to tense up, causing us to tighten up through the tops of our shoulder and neck.

The pain is normally a dull ache or burning sensation in the neck and sometimes accompanied by pain in the upper back and shoulders. Occasionally headaches may also be present.

This type of neck pain is known as postural pain. This pain is bought on by maintaining poor posture and is normally quickly eased upon changing positions.


What can you do to help this pain?

  • Adapt your studying position -  make sure you position your computer screen so it is at your natural eye resting position. Footrests, or back supports such as a small towel or pillow in the lower back will help to reduce slouching and promote good back posture.
  • Get up and move regularly - every 30-40mins get up, get some fresh air and stretch. We know that muscles tire when slouching so in order to maintain a relaxed and supported posture change positions frequently.
  • Exercise - make sure you are exercising regularly throughout the study period, this will give you a study break to clear the head and help keep you aerobically conditioned.
  • Use Heat - place a wheat-bag around your neck to help relax the muscles at the end of a day of studying
  • Reminders - use a sticky note in the corner of your screen to remind you to think about your posture every time you look at it.


Good luck with your exams

If you have any questions regarding neck pain or further treatment, feel free to pop in and visit us at one of our Motus clinics.


About the Author:

Amelia Kinnaird works from our Motus Lincoln branch.  She enjoys looking after sports teams, especially rugby and netball in the weekends, and looks after the Linwood Division 1 rugby team and the Canterbury Metro Under-18 team. In her spare time, she loves running and playing netball.


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