The neck is one of the most commonly cited areas of the body when it comes to pain complaints, and it’s no wonder why. On a normal day, the neck is used to twist, bend, and turn, all while holding the substantial weight of the head. Although neck pain might be a common complaint, it is not something to be overlooked, and it could eventually lead to more serious conditions and problems. Not only that, but suffering from neck pain at work could have a severely negative impact on your productivity and ability to concentrate on your responsibilities. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to resign yourself to experiencing neck pain on a regular basis. Below you will find the top five tips for reducing neck pain at work:
1. Reposition your computer monitor.
If you’re experiencing neck pain at work, then there is a very good chance that it could be related to the position of your computer screen. People who sit at their desks with their computer monitors positioned even slightly off to the side could be setting themselves up for huge problems. Although it may not be obvious or cause immediate pain or discomfort, sitting with your head turned to one side does put a significant amount of strain on your neck. This does not mean, of course, that you are not supposed to turn your head, but sitting for long periods in this manner is inadvisable. Instead, center your computer monitor straight ahead and over your keyboard.
2. Make sure your office is properly lit.
Although improper lighting might seem an unlikely source of neck pain, consider the following: If your workspace lighting is insufficient, then you will be forced to move forwards in order to see properly (even when just reading the computer screen). In the majority of cases, this results in a craning of the neck in a forward position, which places undue stress on your neck’s upper vertebrae. It also strains the sub-occipital muscles at the base of your head, resulting in both neck pain and headaches.
3. See an optometrist.
Like poor lighting, poor vision can cause you to crane your neck forward in order to see properly, resulting in strained neck and back muscles. An optometrist can help to diagnose any possible eyesight problems and can advise you as to the best course of action in order to improve your sight and reduce neck strain at work.
4. Change your sleeping position.
Although sleeping is something you do in the privacy of your own home, it can have a significant impact on your happiness and productivity at work. By sleeping on your stomach, you are forced to twist your neck to one side in order to breathe properly. By sustaining this neck rotation all night while you sleep, you practically guarantee that you will experience neck pain the next day at work.
5. Don’t watch television lying down.
Again, although this is something that you do at home, the position in which you watch television, read, or engage in other relaxing activities, can have a tremendous impact on your productivity at work. Many people lie down during these activities, often causing their neck to crane both forward and sideways, which is, as noted above, a great risk factor in neck pain.
Neck pain at work can be an enormous distraction, but by making some slight adjustments to some of your normal activities – both at work and at home – you could help to prevent this pain. By ensuring that your workspace is set up properly, that you can see sufficiently, and that you sleep and relax at home in a healthy position, you can help to avoid neck pain and get back on the road to productivity at work.
Request an Online Office Ergonomic Evaluation
Contact Daniel Baumstark, Washington, D.C.’s physical therapist, to obtain an ergonomic evaluation for your office, desk and work environment. Office ergonomic evaluations can be submitted online along with a couple pictures of your desk and seating.