Many people work at a desk all day long, whether that be looking at a computer screen, answering phone calls — you name it. And many of those people know the feeling of getting up at the end of the day from that desk stiff, achy and a bit uncomfortable.
Sitting at a desk all day is a common cause of neck (and back) pain for people every day. There are many reasons for this, and luckily, many ways to prevent the pain from happening again.
Symptoms of Neck Pain
Neck pain can vary from person to person in its intensity, location, and duration. Some people experience neck pain for a short period of time — acute pain — while others experience it over an extended period of time — chronic pain.
The most common symptoms of neck pain include stiffness of the neck, achiness, tightness or plain discomfort. It may be hard for you to move your neck side to side or it may be a struggle to keep holding your head for a long period of time.
Causes of Neck Pain From Working at a Desk
The most common reason why people experience neck pain from working at a desk is all about the way they sit and act in their desk environment. Many people conform to the desk area rather than conforming the desk area to them.
If you think about it, you’ll spend 40 hours or more in this one space so you should be putting in the extra time to make sure the area supports you mentally and physically.
The number one thing that causes neck pain from a desk is bad posture. Many people will sit slightly hunched over their monitor, maybe to get a better look at the screen or maybe because their desk chair is too high.
This bad posture wreaks havoc on the ligaments and muscles in the cervical neck and even down the spine. Bad posture, even if its only for a short period of time, makes your head weigh over 50 pounds and can affect your neck, your spine, your breathing, and even your mood.
Other causes of neck pain from working at a desk include:
- Chair position and height
- Monitor height and location
- Chair support
Luckily, there are easy ways to improve your workspaces comfort and efficiency, commonly referred to as ergonomics.
First, try to view everything with a straight neck, including your computer screen and any paper documents. If your computer screen is too low, try to adjust your chair so you’re level with it. If you can’t do that, try and find something to stack it on so its eye-level with you. When looking at documents, hold them up in front of you. You could set up an upright clipboard next to your computer to help with this.
Additionally, try to be aware of your body throughout the day and take breaks if needed. If you’re in a meeting be sure to sit up straight and tall, looking directly at the person who’s speaking. This could even help you with attention and engagement.
Throughout the day consider taking breaks to get up and stretch, possibly every hour. This doesn’t have to be a long walk or anything but something light so your neck and back can have a break.
Lastly, look into objects that can help with the ergonomic of your work station. There are plenty of support chairs and armrests out there to buy. There are even ergonomic desks that height adjusts so you can work sitting down or standing up to help with blood flow and relieve pressure in all areas of the spine.
Schedule an Appointment With Us Today
Neck pain shouldn’t stop you from living the life you want. With years of experience, schedule your appointment with South Orange Chiropractic today and get your neck pain under control and your life back on track.