It’s not just heavy physical labor that can take a toll on your musculoskeletal system. Office work can also put stress on your spine, particularly in your neck. Even if your employer has invested in sit-stand desks that allow you to change position throughout the day, your posture may still be causing neck pain. In today’s post, we’ll take a look at three different ways that office jobs cause neck pain.
While we do suggest a few different ways to improve your posture in today’s post, we recommend scheduling an appointment with our Manassas spine doctors if you have ongoing pain. Continue reading below to learn more, and contact The Spine Care Center today for a consultation!
What Causes Neck Pain?
The main cause of neck pain in office work is a poorly constructed workspace that forces your neck into uncomfortable positions. The most natural position of your neck when you are sitting upright is aligned with your spine and with your chin even or only slightly tucked. When your cubicle or office is set up incorrectly, it forces you to move your neck out of this position.
To help improve your neck health, the experts at The Spine Care Center recommend paying attention to these aspects of your workspace.
Computer Monitor Position
The top of your computer monitor should be eye-level, allowing you to look straight ahead or only slightly down to work. It should be close enough to you that you can read without straining or leaning forward, but far enough away that you don’t lean away from the screen either. If you can’t move your computer screen closer to you, increase the font size to help keep you from straining.
Looking down at your computer, cell phone, or desktop for too long tires the muscles in your neck. They can become very tight, cause neck pain, and even headaches that last after your workday is over.
On a related note, you may want to invest in an application that blocks blue light, or a pair of glasses that filter blue light in order to reduce the strain put on your eyes by your monitor.
If your chair is too low, it forces you to awkwardly lift your arms to use your keyboard and mouse. Holding your arms in this position puts undue strain on your shoulders, which in turn causes neck pain.
The ideal chair height allows you to put your arms out slightly below elbow level to rest on the desk. This alleviates stress in your shoulders.
If you frequently look at paper documents while using your computer, get a document holder that you can place next to your screen. The document holder puts papers upright, so you don’t need to keep looking down to read them.
You should also ensure that any items you use frequently are within easy reach, including your mouse and keyboard. Have to reach frequently through the day can strain your neck and back.
In addition to setting up a comfortable workspace, we recommend standing up and stretching or walking around every 30 minutes. This can help keep your muscles loose and relaxed, reducing pain. It also provides you with a much-needed break that can help you clear your head and return to your desk feeling energized and motivated.
We hope that today’s entry will help you create a more comfortable work environment and reduce the strain you put on your neck and shoulders throughout the week.
If you have a comfortable workspace, but still experience neck pain, it’s time to talk to our spine care experts. Our experienced spine physicians provide surgical and non-surgical minimally invasive spine treatments for pain relief, personalized to you and your neck. We’ll provide you with a comprehensive analysis of your symptoms and work to relieve them as quickly as we can.
Contact The Spine Care Center at (703) 257-2266 or request an appointment online to take the first steps toward a pain-free life.
We look forward to speaking with you!