Musculoskeletal disorders may affect more than 30 percent of all workers, according to the BLS. The combination of many hours of sitting, using a computer screen and your own anatomy can combine to produce neck and back pain. Your posture is also key. Improving your posture can help prevent and relieve your pain, however. Just remember to move, stretch and follow basic ergonomic principles.
Why Neck and Back Pain Occur
Your posture affects your entire body. That’s particularly true of the spine, as all the nerves run off the spinal cord. When you perform desk work, it is common:
- For people to slouch or sit with the head thrust forward.
- To limit movement, which decreases blood flow.
- To develop strained muscles due to incorrectly positioned computer monitors, desks, chairs or telephones.
Ergonomics is the practice of fitting the workstation to your body. Your computer chair and other office tools should allow you to keep your body in a neutral posture position, which decreases stress on the musculoskeletal system. Adjust the height of the computer screen as well as your chair to promote neutral posture at all times: shoulders back, back flat against the chair, feet flat on the floor, shoulders, elbows, and hips at 90-degree angles.
Preventing Back and Neck Pain
Your daily habits can make a big difference in solving the problem of back and neck pain. To that end, you should:
- Monitor your symptoms; identify ways to make your body feel better.
- Take movement breaks at least every 30 minutes; set a timer to remind yourself.
- Use equipment and furniture with good ergonomic design; an adjustable chair is extremely important.
- Pay attention to your posture and correct it as necessary; eventually, proper posture will become an ingrained habit.
While improved posture can make a big difference in solving neck and back pain problems, sometimes you need help. Dr. Shane Silver can adjust your spine, relieve muscle tension and spasm, and recommend corrective exercises to promote better posture. Please contact us today for an assessment and recommendations.