No matter what your profession or career path, working can be a pain in the neck. Perhaps your job is physically demanding, mentally demanding, or both, and for the most part our bodies manage that stress for us. Over time, continued stress will force your body to adapt to handle those stresses. Even something that seems as benign as sitting at a computer screen for 8 hours a day can stress the body. And eventually, the body can fatigue resulting in aches and pains.
When I originally wrote this article, the major focus was placed on how we interact with computers. There are very few professions out there that don’t involve computers these days. Even my profession, which primarily consists of me standing next to the table and providing hands on treatment require several hours of computer paper work.
How to avoid the pain in the neck
Proper placement of the keyboard, computer monitor, and other peripherals can all have an effect on your overall posture. And to make matters worse, the new normal seems to be primarily working on laptops and tablets. It is next to impossible to get optimal posture while working on a laptop. But here are some general tips to avoid that work related pain in the neck.
- Sit up straight with your back against your chair.
- Adjust your arm rests so that your elbows are tight against your side.
- Position your monitor directly in front of you with the top at eye level.
- If you use a laptop, prop the back of it up on something to raise the screen height.
- Stand up and walk around the room every 30 minutes, or ever time you are on the phone.
What if you have a pain in the neck already?
If pain does develop, instead of dosing up on some over the counter medication to hide the pain and injury, a proactive conservative approach can help you manage and reduce pain. In our downtown Syracuse office that would involve Chiropractic Adjustments, as well as pain management modalities, and strengthening exercises. And although people may shy away when we talk about exercise, a recent study published in BioMed Research International showed the efficacy of simple exercises with occupational neck pain.
The article focused on individuals with chronic neck and shoulder pain likely due to office work. The individuals in the study were assigned a simple 2 minute exercise using TheraBands. After 10 weeks of the simple daily exercise, participants reduced overall neck and shoulder pain intensity by 40%. Additionally, they increased their muscle strength by 6% when compared to individuals in the control group. For more exercises, or perhaps an ergonomics lesson, set up an appointment with Dr. Eric and find out what Cuse Chiro can do for you.