Is your job a pain in the neck? Neck pain is one of the most common work-related injuries. The majority of computer workers report pain and tension in the neck and shoulders.
What are the most common causes?
The most common causes of neck pain include poor posture, prolonged static positions, and ergonomic issues.
The neck is a complex structure that must support the weight of the head, which can range from 10-14lbs!
It is made of seven cervical vertebrae, discs, muscles, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, glands and lymphatic tissue. Conditions related to any of these structures can lead to neck pain so a proper assessment and diagnosis are very important. Our MSK Chiropractors and Physiotherapists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of neck pain. Many patients also benefit from Registered Massage Therapy to alleviate tension build-up and relieve pain.
Here are some common causes of computer-related neck pain and some simple remedies:
- Prolonged static positions: Take frequent breaks. For every 20 minutes of sitting, you should get up and move around for 20 seconds. You can walk, stretch and move your spine and body in different directions to improve circulation and alleviate tension.
- Screen height: The height of your screen should be at eye level. You can use blocks or a monitor arm to position the screen appropriately. If you are using a laptop you can place it at eye level and use an external keyboard and mouse.
- Chair: Your shoulders should feel relaxed. Armrests should be adjustable to allow gentle support without elevating your shoulders. There should be lumbar support in your lower back, or you can place a small cushion.
- Sitting vs Standing: Recently standing up at work has gained popularity. However, standing all day can lead to as many problems as sitting all day. The best option for most people is a combination of the two so an adjustable standing desk is usually the best solution.
Effective treatment starts with a proper assessment to determine the cause of pain and discomfort.
Typically for issues related to muscle tension, stiff joints, and poor posture, the best treatment options include Chiropractic care, Massage therapy, and Physiotherapy. Treatment may include manual manipulation to restricted joints, massage techniques such as Active Release Technique and Trigger point therapy, dry needling or IMS, and exercise and stretching prescription.
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