If you are a student, you know the dangers of poor study habits on your grades, but what about their effect on your physical body. Hunching over a desk at a computer workstation can take its toll on your neck and back. If you are studying at a school of design, you may also be spending hours at a time working at a drawing board or drafting station. Add to these the stress of student life and you have a recipe for pain.

Whether the cause is stress alone, or poor posture at your desk, try some of these things to relieve your discomfort. 

1. Get a massage 

Massage therapy can help release tension your muscles might be holding from stress. It can also help loosen any trigger points you’ve developed in your muscle tissue. 

2. Yoga 

A gentle yoga practice can provide stress relief, and help you release muscle tension. Another benefit is using yoga to prevent future neck and back problems. 

3. Hot bath or shower 

Try soaking in a hot bath or enjoying a steamy shower. The heat from the water will help coax the tension from your muscles. 

4. Exercise regularly 

It might seem counterintuitive to work your already tight muscles at the gym. The truth is, working out will cause your muscles to tire. Tired muscles have a harder time holding on to tension. 

5. Try a standup desk 

You may have seen a standup desk. As people work longer and longer hours, the need for ergonomic office furniture is increasing. Standup desks can prevent you from staying hunched all day, and allow you to work in a larger variety of positions. 

6. Physical therapy

Long hours hunched over a desk or workstation could exacerbate neck pain and send you to the office of a physical therapist. After an initial exam, the therapist might recommend one of several treatments like over the door cervical traction. This can help relieve tension on your neck and upper back. 

7. Acupuncture 

In a study of more than 18,000 people, acupuncture reduced chronic pain in greater than half of the studied population. It might seem ridiculous to stick a bunch of needles in your body to relieve muscle tension, but people have been practicing acupuncture for thousands of years. Maybe there’s something to it after all. 

A drive to succeed and long hours working on a laptop or drawing board are just a couple of the factors that cause muscle tension in students. Stress can’t always be prevented, and I doubt many students will be spending less time studying any time soon. If you’re a student suffering with a tight neck, do your best to stay healthy and try out this list we’ve put together. At the very least, you’ll probably find some stress relief.