Q&A: Neck Tension & Frozen Heads

Question: Sometimes I get a frozen muscles feeling at the back of my head when I’m working at my desk, especially after I’ve exercised that day. What’s wrong with me, my regular personal trainer (Virgin) is clueless?

Answer: This is more common than you’d imagine. There is nothing wrong with you per se, as what you describe are the typical symptoms of a tension headache. Whereas we normally associate headaches with pain across the temples or eyes, the involuntary contraction (tensing) of the scalp (at the back of your head) and/or neck can cause tightness and that “frozen feeling”.

This can be caused by any activity that leaves the head held in one position for too long without moving. Sitting at your desk is a prime example of this. It may be that you hold yourself differently after exercise due to fatigue, or are so tired that you adjust your posture less than normal, and this is why exercise seems to exacerbate the problem.

What’s the solution? Try to ensure that you are relaxed and not tense whilst you work. Sit upright and do NOT hunch over your computer! Get up every half hour and take a short stroll around your office. Even better, try to stretch out your shoulders and neck by rolling your head slowly in both a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. 

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