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BY DR. ARNAN L. SISSON
MARCH 7, 2018
Did you know statistics show around 45 percent of office workers have neck and shoulder pain? There’s no coincidence there… Staying in a seated position for long periods of time at work and even at home can be hard on your body, especially in the neck and shoulders. Several of my clients, who have had these same issues, say their pain had gotten to the point where they were relying on pain medications, injections and were even considering surgery. So today, I wanted to give a few simple tips that are tried and true to help relieve that neck or shoulder pain, and hopefully, make work a little less brutal.
Firstly, you want to think about how you’re positioned while you’re working or sitting at home in your office. Position is typically the root cause of injury to the neck or shoulder. Try to be more aware of your neck. Is it jutted forward as your looking at your computer or typing on your keyboard? Are your shoulders rolled inward and back curled forward? When your head and neck starts sticking out, those muscles on the front of the neck become elongated and the ones in the back of the head become shortened, but it also causes your shoulders to curl in and adversely, those muscles in the front become shortened and those in the back become elongated, which can cause painful problems over time.
The simplest fix for many: glasses. Several folks who’ve been experiencing neck pain and developed this bad habit of sticking their head out to use the computer, have discovered they’ve got some vision issues. Glasses are the easiest way to prevent this problem, and can give you more time to focus on staying in a good upright position when sitting. As I mentioned before, good posture is key.
Another strategy worth trying is scooting your chair closer to your desk or screen (or vice versa) so there is not quite as much distance between the two. This will give you less room to jut your neck forward or curl your shoulders in. But something most don’t realize, looking down at your computer constantly can cause serious stress to the neck and shoulders. So, try propping your computer screen up to eye level using a computer stand or a stack of books to prevent it from strain.
Lastly, something I’ve done in the past with clients, I’ve had them take a picture of their office setup and then discuss with them ways that we can improve it for their specific problem. A common scenario I found with those patients is they had their computers turned at an angle, which caused their shoulder to turn in and overtime lead to some serious pain. Make sure your computer and desk are in line with you.
By following these simple tips, you should be able to cut those neck and shoulder problems to the core and keep future problems from popping up.
P.S. To get even more information feel free to set up a free 15 minute phone consultation with myself. We can figure out the likely cause of your neck/shoulder issues and figure out the best stratagy to get you off the medication and avoid any more missed time from work due to pain/stiffness. If you prefer to set up your consult over the phone, not a problem! Just shoot us a call at (804) 493-0002 and Hannah will set you up right away.