Few people associate sitting at the desk with injuries. However, sitting in one position for hours at a time can put a strain on the muscles and tendons in your back, shoulders, and neck.
Something as small as placing your computer too far away or too close may lead to shoulder and neck pain. This neck pain and stiffness is often referred to as tech neck.
If your neck isn’t evenly balanced between your shoulders, the weight of your skull isn’t evenly distributed throughout your neck. Over time, the muscles and ligaments in your neck can become strained, which can lead to a number of symptoms, such as pain, stiffness, headaches, and discomfort.
To help you optimize your neck health, Bonaventure Ngu, MD, of Premier Spine Institute in The Woodlands, Humble, and Baytown, Texas, explains how you can prevent neck strain at your work space.
To avoid tilting your neck, raise your computer to eye level. If you have a separate monitor, get a monitor stand that’s adjustable. If you have a laptop, get a laptop stand that’s adjustable.
Many office workers squeeze their phones between their ears and shoulders while on a call. This awkward position can put excess strain on your neck and shoulders, and it can contribute to tech neck symptoms.
Instead of doing this, use headphones. This will allow you to maintain a good posture while you talk on the phone.
A slouched back is often the cause for back and neck injuries. However, many people forget about their posture when they’re entrenched in work, especially if a bad posture is their default posture when sitting at a desk.
Your back should be straight, and your forearms and hands should be parallel to the floor as you type. Furthermore, your thighs should also be parallel to the floor, and your feet should be flat on the floor. To help you improve your posture, consider investing in a wearable sensor that will vibrate each time you slouch.
To help prevent eye and neck strain, keep in mind the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. And try to get up every hour or so and take a walk for a few minutes.
If you experience neck pain and stiffness and nothing seems to help, Dr. Ngu can get to the bottom of it. Dr. Ngu will give you a thorough evaluation and prescribe a treatment plan to help relieve your pain.
He may suggest a number of options, including the following:
No matter what’s causing your pain, Dr. Ngu can put you on the road to good health. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Spine Institute today.