3 Common Work-related Neck Injuries
- Posture: Forward head syndrome. We have all been there. Working hard on a project at the computer for several hours at a time. What do we end up doing? Leaning forward and getting closer to the computer monitor. When doing this we’re putting our body in a very compromising position. Our body is built to be in a certain alignment. Having our head extended forward away from the body puts major strain on the vertebra and the muscles trying to keep the neck aligned. The muscles are not meant to be in such a position, and elongating some muscles make others contract too much, which can cause a strain on the back of the neck and result in tension headaches and other chronic neck pain.
- How to change the habit: Get out of your seat! Every 20 minutes stand up and change your position. This might seem drastic but without realigning your body, it can cause damage or discomfort throughout your entire work day.
- Take a moment to look at your posture in the mirror and see where the correction can be made. Also, stand up to create better posture.
- Along with positional changes, which make up a large amount of our working day, it is also just as important to add workout sessions throughout the week to the posterior muscles of the body which are the muscles of the back and core. Without strength being able to stay in the proper positions that you body needs throughout the day is not possible long term.
- Posture: Poor ergonomics can cause headaches.
- How to change the habit: Change your position. Stand up about every 20 minutes at your desk and maintain proper posture. That’s easier said than done. Try starting out with just 2 minutes at a time with great posture and then slowly increase the time.
- Hyper focused with eyes: Looking at the screen for several hours can result in chronic headaches at work.
- How to change the habit: Give your eyes a break. Even with a desk job or customer service, schedule other tasks to take a break from using the screen for several hours at a time.
- Chronic repetitive mouse usage: Throughout the work day, a person has to perform a lot of the same actions repeatedly for their work. So how can you avoid this? Instead of trying to cut this activity out altogether, how can you help your arms and hands? Look at your position. Having the arms relaxed, the elbows at 90 degrees and the hands in a natural position and not tense or tight can decrease the contractions placed on the fingers.
- How to change the habit: If possible, take breaks after a long period of repetitive actions. Also, instead of having prolonged periods, schedule times throughout the day to give your hands a break.
- Exercises: Perform hand exercises at your desk or routinely take breaks before the sudden onset of pain or discomfort starts. This is crucial because not only are you breaking the cycle of discomfort by stopping the action before the pain starts, it also strengthens the muscles around the surrounding area in the forearm flexors and extensors to strengthen the joint to decrease pain.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Advanced Spine & Wellness Centers for their insight into 3 common work-related neck injuries.
Posted on October 21, 2016 @ 3:12 pm