If you have an office job, you probably spend a lot of time sitting at your desk over the course of a work day. You may experience daily stiffness and discomfort in the neck and shoulders as a result. You may even accept it as part of your job and think there's nothing you can do about it.
However, chronic pain is not something you want to grow accustomed to. It can affect your productivity and job performance. There are simple steps you can take to lessen muscle tension and tightness.
Sit up straight
Some of your discomfort may be caused by sitting in a slumped-over position without even realizing it. Sitting with your back in a hunched position can place excessive strain on your neck muscles. Over several hours, this can cause extreme discomfort in the neck and up the back of the head. In some instances it may lead to the development of tension headaches.
Get an eye exam
If you have vision problems, you may find you need to lean forward to see the computer screen better. If this is the case, you should schedule an eye exam with your optometrist or ophthalmologist to rule out any problems with your eyes. Squinting your eyes can also create muscle tension in the face and lead to neck pain. If your eyes are healthy, making adjustments to the computer monitor height and taking frequent breaks can help eliminate an eye strain issue.
Trade in your keyboard
Your computer keyboard may be a culprit if you do a lot of typing. Repetitive stress injuries are common among office personnel. Using a standard keyboard or laptop also keeps your arms in an unnatural position. This causes tension in the upper back, especially if you are under stress and tend to tighten up your muscles.
Ergonomic keyboards are designed to prevent stress and injuries. They may be awkward to use at first, but many people prefer them once they get adjusted to typing on them. They can help prevent repetitive stress injuries in the wrists also, such as carpel tunnel syndrome.
Stand-up and type
Stand-up desks are growing in popularity due to their many health benefits. For people who sit for a living, they can be important in helping to eliminate fatigue and stress. These special desks are equipped with electronic lifts that enable you to sit or stand at your desk. Changing positions frequently helps relieve muscle tension, improve circulation, and may even be beneficial in burning more calories.
Know when to see a doctor
If you've examined your workstation and made improvements to eliminate stress and strain on your muscles, and you continue to have neck pain, you should see your doctor for an exam. This is also important if your pain is severe in nature and occurs on days when you aren't doing a lot of computer work or other repetitive activities.
Fortunately, most types of neck pain are not caused by serious disorders. Making a few ergonomic adjustments will often provide at least some relief or lessen the severity of your symptoms. Your body will benefit from an ergonomically sound office environment. You may even find you're more productive when you're enjoying a pain-free life.
For more information, contact a business such as Wasilla Physical Therapy.