How To Avoid Neck Pain While Working On Computer?

How To Avoid Neck Pain While Working On Computer
1. Practice good posture – When sitting at your desk, place your feet flat on the floor and keep your back flush against the chair. Your head should be in a neutral position with the ears directly above your shoulders. See Types of Lumbar Support and Ergonomic Office Chairs To help avoid rounding your lower back, which in turn can cause your head and shoulders to slump forward, adjust your chair’s height to allow your thighs to angle down slightly.

How can I stop my neck from hurting when using my computer?

Tip #6: Don’t Make Yourself Twist to Look at the Screen – Neck pain can be caused by working in a twisted posture. To eliminate neck twisting, place the computer monitor directly in front and facing you; not at an angle to left or right side. A screen that is too high or low can also cause neck and shoulder strain.

Why does my neck hurt when working on computer?

Dr.K. Daniel Riew on technology-related neck and shoulder pain. – How To Avoid Neck Pain While Working On Computer You see it everywhere. In homes and offices, while walking down the street, riding the bus, or standing in line. “Tech neck,” the act of stressing muscles while using phones, tablets, and computers, resulting in neck and shoulder pain, stiffness, and soreness, is a problem that’s getting worse.

In 2020, Americans spent a daily average of 7 hours and 50 minutes with digital media, including 4 hours, 26 minutes a day on non-voice activities on mobile devices — and it’s estimated that the daily average will be over 8 hours in 2022, according to eMarketer, The result? Headaches, neck spasms, and creaky shoulder joints, caused by holding one’s neck still for long periods, says K.

Daniel Riew, M.D., director of cervical spine surgery and co-director of spine surgery in the department of orthopedic surgery at Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian, Here, Dr. Riew breaks down the causes and symptoms of tech neck and offers ways to correctly and safely align the body while using mobile phones, computers, and other digital media devices.

Health Matters: What causes “tech neck”? Dr. Riew : When you’re working on a computer or looking down at your phone, the muscles in the back of the neck have to contract to hold your head up. The more you look down, the more the muscles have to work to keep your head up. These muscles can get overly tired and sore from looking down at our smartphones, working on computers, or looking down at our tablets all day.

That’s what we call “tech neck.” Most people have been told to sit up straight when working on a computer. I’ve heard that advice given by doctors, therapists, and other experts. Unfortunately, this is incorrect advice. When you sit with your back straight, you not only put a lot of force on the discs in your lower back, but the muscles in the back of the neck have to contract to hold the head up. How To Avoid Neck Pain While Working On Computer So how should you sit? A better way to sit is with the chair reclining 25-30 degrees with a good lumbar support to prevent slouching. In this position, the discs in the back, as well as the neck, are subjected to much lower forces than in an upright position, and the muscles in the back of the neck no longer have to contract to hold your head up.

When you lean back, part of your body’s weight goes into the chair, instead of straight down your spine. So your spine sees a lot less force, and, as a result, you hurt a lot less. Most people do this intuitively by using reclining chairs when they are relaxing because it doesn’t hurt the neck or back as much as sitting straight.

What are the symptoms of tech neck? Headaches, stiff necks, neck spasms, and pain between your shoulder blades are common complaints. Some people say they have a hard time looking up after looking down for a long time. In severe situations you could get numbness or tingling or weakness that goes down into your arms because of a pinched nerve in your neck.

How can tech neck cause more serious problems? What happens initially is that the muscles have to strain to hold your head up. But the muscles tighten, and, as they do, they put more pressure on the discs. That makes the discs wear out faster, and as the discs wear out faster, they can bulge or even rupture.

If the ruptured disc pinches a nerve, you can get pain, weakness, or numbness in the arm, which may end up requiring surgical treatment. “At just 45 degrees, your neck muscles are doing the work of lifting a 50 lb. bag of potatoes.” — Dr.K. Daniel Riew How many people suffer from tech neck? It probably is close to 100 percent. How To Avoid Neck Pain While Working On Computer Dr.K. Daniel Riew How can one alleviate the symptoms of tech neck? Number one is to get up and move frequently. If you have a sedentary sitting job, at least every 15-30 minutes, you should get up and walk around, even if it’s for a minute. That’ll get blood circulating, and it will get your neck in a different position.

It’s not only good for your neck, but also the rest of your body. Studies show that sitting for long periods is dangerous to your heart and that it leads to a shortened life span. Number two, get a chair that reclines with a very good lumbar support, and lean back as much as practical while you’re working.

That will take the pressure off of the neck muscles so that they aren’t strained. You can tell if you are leaning back adequately by doing the following: First, if you were to fall asleep in that position, your neck should fall backward. Alternatively, if you put your hand at the back of your neck, as you lean forward, you’ll find that the neck muscles contract and stiffen up.

As you lean backward they will relax and get soft. Number three, see if you can work standing up, as much as possible. When should one see a doctor? If you have a tech neck, the last person you should see is a surgeon. They’re not going to be able to help because the solution isn’t an operation. It would be better to see a physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R, also known as a physiatrist) doctor.

They are doctors who take care of bone and joint problems in a non-operative manner. We have several of the top PM&R doctors in the world at NewYork-Presbyterian’s Daniel and Jane Och Spine Hospital. If their non-operative measures don’t work or if you have ongoing problems such as constant numbness or weakness in the arms, then it’s time to consider surgery and see a surgeon.

How can one prevent tech neck? If you have neck pain that really bothers you, I recommend doing some form of aerobic exercise on a regular basis. That could be using ellipticals, recumbent stationary bicycles, jogging, swimming, or walking at a brisk pace. Choose an aerobic activity that doesn’t cause you neck pain while you are doing it or the next day.

If you do it for a sustained period, about 20 to 30 minutes three or four times a week, getting your heart rate and respiratory rate up and working up a good sweat, that will keep your neck and back much healthier. It will also help ease the tension in the back of the neck.

  • How does exercise help? When you do aerobic exercise, it sends oxygenated blood to those tired muscles and washes away the chemicals that cause inflammation and pain.
  • If I have a long day where I have to work on a computer for long hours, I’ll go home and exercise for 45 minutes and I feel much better.
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Dr.K. Daniel Riew serves as director of cervical spine surgery and co-director of spine surgery in the department of orthopedic surgery at Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian, Dr. Riew has a unique practice in that for the last 20 years, he has focused exclusively on the surgical treatment of cervical spine problems.

What is the best way to position your monitor when you are typing?

Monitor tips Adjust the monitor height so that the top of the screen is at—or slightly below—eye level. Your eyes should look slightly downward when viewing the middle of the screen. Position the monitor at least 20 inches (51 cm) from your eyes—about an arm’s length distance.

Does tech neck go away?

What Is Tech Neck? – Tech neck, also referred to as cervical kyphosis, is a frequently painful condition that results from the hunchback slouch many individuals employ when they’re using their electronic devices. The issue starts when you bend your neck forward so you can look at your smartphone or another electronic device. Doing this:

Places a great deal of strain on your spine Causes a lot of tension to your neck and shoulders Causes upper- back pain

The pain typically builds up over time and might go away after several days or weeks, or it might go away and come back sporadically over many years. The stiff neck and neck soreness could spread down into your mid-back and shoulder blades, maybe even into your arms.

It can be sharp at times when you move around or just a dull ache. It could cause headaches. You may feel it when you’re using an electronic device, or it might bother you during the night. Eventually, the pain will distract you and negatively impact your daily life. When you look straight ahead, the weight of your head is between 10 and 12 pounds,

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Even if you only bend your neck forward 15 degrees to look at your phone, it doubles the weight of your head, making your head weigh around 27 pounds. Imagine bending your neck at 45 degrees — that’s almost 50 pounds of weight your neck muscles, upper back and shoulders are supporting.

  1. Your muscles must work harder now because you’re beginning to move the center of gravity forward just a little bit.
  2. They’re supporting a heavier head, and this will cause some neck pain.
  3. Since individuals rely on their phones so much, they get mentally lost in their texting, games or work, which causes them to forget about their posture.

When you’re spending long periods in the tech neck position, for your neck to stay in balance, you’ll need to spend the same amount of time or even more, in the opposite position.

How do you strengthen your neck muscles?

Tilting and holding your head on each side is one repetition. With your head facing forward, slowly tilt your head towards one shoulder as far as is comfortable – you should feel a stretch on the opposite side of your neck. Hold for 2 seconds then return to where you started. Repeat on the other side.

How can I use my laptop without straining my neck?

People are spending more and more time in front of a screen, both for work and leisure. As an osteopath I always ask patients about their desk set up and computer use. A desk top computer, when properly set up is the best option ergonomically. However, many people prefer the convenience and size of laptops due to work patterns or lifestyle.

How long does a stiff neck last?

When you have a stiff neck, the soreness and restricted range of motion can make routine activities difficult. Symptoms typically last from just a day or two to a couple of weeks, and may be accompanied by a headache, shoulder pain, and/or pain that radiates down your arm.

  • Occasionally when the underlying cause is more serious, the symptoms can last for weeks, months or years.
  • Here are some potential causes of stiff neck, and when it may be something more serious.
  • See When Is a Stiff Neck Serious? A stiff neck is commonly caused by a neck muscle strain or soft tissue sprain.

Watch: Neck Strains and Sprains Video advertisement

How do I relax my shoulders on my computer?

How to Stretch – Stretching should be done slowly without bouncing. Stretch to where you feel a slight, easy stretch. Hold this feeling for 5-20 seconds. As you hold this stretch, the feeling of tension should diminish. If it doesn’t, just ease off slightly into a more comfortable stretch.

  1. The easy stretch reduces tension and readies the tissues for the developmental stretch.
  2. After holding the easy stretch, you can move a fraction of an inch farther into the stretch until you feel mild tension again.
  3. This is the developmental stretch which should be held for 10-15 seconds.
  4. This feeling of stretch tension should also slightly diminish or stay the same.

If the tension increases or becomes painful, you are overstretching. Ease off a bit to a comfortable stretch. The developmental stretch reduces tension and will safely increase flexibility. Hold only stretch tensions that feel good to you. The key to stretching is to be relaxed while you concentrate on the area being stretched.

1. Separate and straighten your fingers until tension of a stretch is felt (fig.1). Hold for 10 seconds, relax and bend your fingers at the knuckles and hold for 10 seconds (fig.2). Repeat first outward stretch once more. 2. This stretch may cause people around you to think you are very strange indeed, but you often find a lot of tension in your face from eye strain. Raise your eyebrows and open your eyes as wide as possible. At the same time, open your mouth to stretch the muscles around your nose and chin and stick your tongue out. 3. Shoulder Shrug: Raise the top of your shoulders toward your ears until you feel slight tension in your neck and shoulders. Hold this feeling of tension for 3-5 seconds, then relax your shoulders downward into their normal position. Do this 2-3 times. Good to use at the first signs of tightness or tension in the shoulder and neck area. 4. With fingers interlaced behind head, keep elbows straight out at sides with upper body in a good aligned position. Now pull your shoulder blades toward each other to create a feeling of tension though upper back and shoulder blades. Hold this feeling of mild tension for 8-10 seconds, then relax. Do several times. This is good to do when shoulders and upper back are tense or tight. 5. Start with head in a comfortable, aligned position. Slowly tilt head to left side to stretch muscles on side of neck. Hold stretch for 10-20 seconds. Feel a good, even stretch and do not overstretch. Then tilt head to right side and stretch. Do 2-3 times to each side. 6. From a stable, aligned sitting position turn your chin toward your left shoulder to create a stretch on the right side of your neck. Hold right stretch tensions for 10-20 seconds. Do each side twice. 7. Gently tilt your head forward to stretch the back of the neck. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times. Hold only tensions that feel good. Do not stretch to the point of pain. 8. Hold your left arm just above the elbow with the right hand. Now gently pull elbow toward opposite shoulder as you look over your left shoulder. Hold stretch for 15-20 seconds. Do both sides. 9. Interlace fingers, then straighten arms in front of you. The palm should be facing away from you as you do this stretch. Feel stretch in arms and through the upper part of the shoulder blades. Hold stretch for 10-15 seconds. Do at least two times. 10. Interlace fingers then turn palms upwards above your head as you straighten your arms. Think of elongating your arms as you feel a stretch through arms and upper sides of rib cage. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Hold only stretches that feel relaxing. Do three times.11. Hold left elbow with right hand, then gently pull elbow behind head until an easy tension-stretch is felt in shoulder or back of upper arm (triceps). Hold easy stretch for 30 seconds. Do not overstretch. Do both sides.12. Hold onto your lower leg just below the knee. Gently pull bent leg toward your chest and isolate a stretch in the side of your upper leg. Make use of the right arm to pull bent leg towards the opposite shoulder. Hold for 10-20 seconds at easy stretch tension. Do both sides.13. A stretch for the side of hip, lower and middle of back. Sit with left leg bent over right leg, then rest elbow for forearm of right arm on the outside of the upper thigh of the left leg. Now apply some controlled, steady pressure toward the right with the elbow or forearm. As you do this, look over your left shoulder to get the stretch feeling. Do both sides. Hold for 15 seconds.14. The next stretch is done with fingers interlaced behind your back. Slowly turn your elbows inward while straightening your arms. An excellent stretch for shoulders and arms. This is good to do when you find yourself slumping forward from your shoulders. This stretch can be done at any time. Hold for 5-15 seconds. Do twice.15. To stretch your calf, stand a little way from a wall for solid support and lean on it with your forehead resting on your hands. Bend over and place your foot on the floor in front while leaving the other leg straight. Slowly move your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the calf of your straight leg. Be sure to keep the heel of the foot of the straight leg on the floor and your toes pointed straight ahead. Hold an easy stretch for 30 seconds. Stretch both legs.

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: Computer and Desk Stretches

What is the most common reason for neck pain?

Overview – Neck pain is common. Poor posture — whether from leaning over a computer or hunching over a workbench — strains neck muscles. Osteoarthritis also is a common cause of neck pain. Rarely, neck pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem. Seek medical care for neck pain with numbness or loss of strength in the arms or hands or for pain that shoots into a shoulder or down an arm.

How should I sit at my desk?

Chair – Choose a chair that supports your spinal curves. Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Adjust armrests so your arms gently rest on them with your shoulders relaxed.

How can I use my laptop without straining my neck?

People are spending more and more time in front of a screen, both for work and leisure. As an osteopath I always ask patients about their desk set up and computer use. A desk top computer, when properly set up is the best option ergonomically. However, many people prefer the convenience and size of laptops due to work patterns or lifestyle.

What is computer neck Syndrome?

If you’ve ever spent hour after hour, day after day staring at your computer screen, you probably know the pain that is “tech neck.” It’s a term that’s come to refer to the soreness, stiffness, and even injury that can result from bending your head downward to look at an electronic device for too long, according to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital,

It’s the fallout from spending too much time looking down at phones or tablets, or holding your head too far forward to look at a computer screen,” explains Stacie J. Stephenson, a doctor of chiropractic and chair of functional medicine for Cancer Treatment Centers of America, who is based in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

If you can relate, read on for why “tech neck” can be bad for long-term health, symptoms to look out for, and what to do about it.