3 Steps to Less Upper Back & Neck Pain: Episode 22

Do you sit at a desk or computer all day? Do you have chronic tension in your upper back and neck? Upper back and neck pain are one of the major complaints of women of all ages. It’s where women tend to hold their tension. In this episode of Flipping 50 TV, I tackle upper back and neck pain from sitting at a desk or doing repetitive work.  Want to go a step further? Here’s a favorite tool I use daily. 

Today’s Muscles in Minutes segment is no sweat. Really. Get more comfortable and then more movement will be a natural. It’s a three-step process. You can do this in street clothes.

athletic woman runningMuscles in Minutes

To reduce or prevent upper back and neck pain and strain, follow these three steps. Hint: even if you don’t have pain, these can feel good and give you a second wind for an afternoon at the desk!


Step 1: Release

Step 2: Restore

Step 3: Re-strengthen

Little known fact: Walking, jogging, or equipment-based cardio can make matters worse if you hold yourself tightly. You may not know you’re doing it, in fact, you probably don’t know you’re doing it!

Walk this Way: Be aware of your form. Watch the tips for swinging your arms and moving your upper body when you walk.

Check in with your posture every 5 minutes or every few blocks during your walk. Use the end of a song or a certain corner as a cue.

upper back and neck exercise


Minute Made Meals

Upper back and neck pain is the topic of this episode. So how does that relate to eating? It’s all related. Without the right kind of nutrition, you increase stress and decrease energy levels. Everything you eat sends a message to your body. Eating too little slows your metabolism.  Everything you don’t eat also does. You’re either telling your metabolism to speed up or slow down. If you eat less your body will burn less.

If you’ve fallen into the trap of just grabbing a coffee, then not having much for lunch, and getting by with a salad or skipping dinner at night, your body is stressed and needs to recover from what feels like a diet even if that isn’t your intention.

Beyond Coffee: Start with a real breakfast

A smoothie is a fast and convenient way to do this and to introduce breakfast back into your life.

  • Greens – 1-3 cups
  • Protein – 25 to 35 grams
  • Fiber – chia seeds, ground flax seed, hemp hearts
  • Fruit- berries
  • Fat – coconut milk, nut butter, avocado

Build a smoothie in minutes (or seconds with the NutriBullet Pro: take $20 off special for our Flipping 50 TV community). If smoothies aren’t your jam, put these contents into your morning on a plate instead.

Lunch with Variety

Whether you’re used to soup, or a salad, vary the protein (make sure it’s in there!), the veggies, and add potatoes or gluten-free rice, beans, or quinoa cooked with some heathy fat or topped with an avocado.

Eat Dinner

It’s fine to keep it light with soup, powered by veggies and protein, or to build a simple bowl of veggies, rice and protein. Spice it up for endless variety. I never skip protein at dinner. I also feast on the most carbs at dinner for support relaxation and good sleep.

Without enough of the right fuel you increase your stress and decrease your energy level.

Upper back and neck pain is a sign of stress. Ironically, whether you’re underweight or overweight, or simply overtired, reducing physical stress is often the first step toward feeling better. That means, not increasing exercise but decreasing it until you fix what’s really broken. If you’re underweight and overstressed, start by getting more sleep and releasing the tension. When you feel better, you’ll want to move more!


Video of my demo of something I’m using for 15 or 30-minutes a day right at my computer.


The Key Flip of the Day

Stress accumulates from all areas of your life. Instead of putting a band-aid on one area, go right for the root cause of your stress.

For the rest of the Flipping 50 conversation get the insider news I only share in emails. Remember, flipping 50 is not 5-0, it’s the entire second half… whether you’re on your way, and want to make it a great ride when you get there, or you’ve turned the corner.

Most games are won in the second half.

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