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I have a stiff neck and upper back from sitting in class and at the computer all day. Will running help to alleviate this pain?

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It might... probably just standing and sitting up straight and maybe doing some stretches and stuff would work best. It wouldn't hurt to start up some running too though, running has alot of other health benifits too and besides that it's alot of fun :D
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I think running does help. I work on the computer all day. A run over the noon hour or in the evening does wonders for relaxing the body and relieving stiff muscles.
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at this point I'm willing to try anything. I tried some streching(putting my arms behind my and trying clap), but this has seemed to aggravate the problem.

I'm at a disadvantage because I have to sit in class all day. Does anyone have any other stretches that might work? Also, does running improve your posture?
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I good stretch to improve your posture is to find a corner somewhere and put your hands up against the wall on either side of you and then lean forward so your shoulders go back and hold it for about 20 seconds. I hope that makes sense.

-John
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You may consider doing this every 20 minutes or so in class, to keep you loose.
Sit up straight.
Put your shoulders back.
Take a few deep breaths in and out.
Rotate your head (not too fast) fully, all directions, several times.
This is not likely a solution to your current problem, but it'll help and, once you do get some resolution through the other suggestions given here, it'll keep you a little more loose so it doesn't come back.
Also, what you are describing surely involves some inflammation. You may consider taking a standard dose of an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofin, etc) for a few days. During those few days, concentrate on stretching that area really well. The anti-inflammatory will help calm the muscle enough to let it stretch and let the musculoskeletal alignment improve.
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Now you know where the cliche "a pain in the neck" came from. I definitely find that running helps my neck. I tend to add in a little rotation and bending side to side. I also enjoy bending backward over an exercise ball. This helps to take you out of the posture you tend to get into sitting at a desk for long periods. Your head weighs 12-18#, like a heavy bowling ball. If you keep the ball balanced over your shoulders by sitting upright or propping up reading material the net strain on your neck at the end of the day will be less and your neck will start to feel better. Spend a bit of time evaluating your posture and see how you can make some changes.
Best
Bryan
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at this point...running helps everything for me. :D
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Thanks guys.

The problem also seems to be with my upper back. Do you think benchpresses would also help? I'm afraid of getting a hunch...
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STRETCH your pectorals--do not strengthen them at this point. They are strong and they are helping to pull you forward. A bench press on the way DOWN only would help to stretch them, as would a butterfly on the way DOWN only. You would need a partner for that bench press. You could drop the weights on the butterfly. As soon as you go to bring the weight up, then you are strengthening, no longer stretching.

You need to STRENGTHEN your Rhomboids--the back muscles that help pull your shoulders back and keep you straight.

Be aware of your posture when you run. I know that when it is cold, I tend to hunch up a bit which does not help the situation at all. Make a conscious effort to try to relax your problem muscles after you are warmed up.

When you are sitting, keep your chin/head back, over yor shoulders. Most people tend to have it hanging out in front.

I am dealing with these same issues and believe me, it is NOT a quick, easy fix, like we all would like it to be. As I was typing this note, I had to put my chin/head back a good 4 times--that's how quickly you can slip back into poor posture.

Stretch your pecs, strengthen your rhomboids, and check out some neck stretching/strengthening exercises on-line. :)
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Running might help that stiff neck, but stretches will definitely help a lot or maybe even a massage!
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