Do you suffer from chronic neck pain? If so, you are far from alone. This is one of the most common ailments being experienced in the modern world, and it is only becoming more ubiquitous. Why is neck pain so common today? Much of the reason might be related to technology and to the modern work environment. Here are 3 ways that technology and your job may be causing neck pain.
#1 Sitting at a Desk
In the modern business world, many have traded manual labor jobs for cushy desk jobs. There’s just one problem. Working at a desk all day can actually be worse on your neck and back than physical work if you don’t use proper posture. Here are some tips for maintaining proper posture at the office.
- Keep monitors at the proper height – Your computer screens should be at eye-level. If they are any lower, you will have to angle your head forward a little throughout the day. This increases the weight on your neck. Over time, this can add up to misalignments, neck pain, and early degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae.
- Sit properly – Keep your back straight. Your knees should be level with your hips. Keep your feet flat on the ground. If your feet don’t reach the floor, use a stool. The right chair is an important factor too. Be sure you have plenty of lumbar support.
- If your job calls for being on the phone and you decide to multitask, use speakerphone or a headset. Never hold the phone between your shoulder and ear.
#2 Your Daily Commute
The driver’s seat in most vehicles is not designed for proper posture. If you have a seat designed for multiple adjustments, try to sit the same way you would at a desk as described above. Obviously, you can’t keep your feet flat on the ground because you need to press the pedals. This will result in additional pressure on your lower back, so lumbar support is even more important in your vehicle. Here are a few tips for cutting down commute times, so you spend less time in the driver’s seat.
- If possible, move closer to your job.
- See if your boss will allow you to come in a couple of hours early and leave a couple of hours early. Missing the rush hour traffic may cut your commute times in half.
- Carpool. – Not being the driver every day can allow you to focus on your posture a little more. Plus, you can use the HOV lane which may cut down on commute times.
- Work from home – Ask your boss if it is possible to work from home, even just one day per week. One less day of commuting cuts out 20% of the time you would be spending behind the wheel.
#3 Mobile Device Usage
The average person checks mobile devices dozens of times per day. This includes social media, using apps, surfing the web, and texting. As a result, the term “text neck” has arisen to denote when neck pain is caused by this frequent smartphone usage. Most of the time, we hold a phone near our lap and crane the neck forward rather than holding up the phone at eye level. This increases the strain even more. Then we compound the problem by checking our devices dozens of times per day. Here are a few tips for avoiding text neck.
- Check your phone at set times – Rather than reaching for your phone every time you start to feel anxious about how long it has been, set specific times during the day when you check your phone. You may find that you haven’t missed much by only checking the phone a few times per day rather than a few times per hour.
- Have technology free times – Whether it is the first hour you’re awake, during meals, or the last hour before you go to bed, be sure to schedule some time during the day where you turn off the ringer and disconnect.
- Beware of binge-watching – We’ve all done it. You start watching your favorite show on Netflix, and before long the TV or tablet is asking you if you’re still watching because even the technology can’t believe you’ve been sitting there that long. If watching TV is what you do with your downtime, take a minute to get up and stretch between each episode. Be sure to keep the TV screen, tablet, or phone that you are watching at eye level so you are not straining your neck.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic – Your Source for Natural Neck Pain Relief
Upper cervical chiropractic has one focus – properly aligning the top two bones of the neck. After all, these are the bones that balance the head. If they are out of position, the entire spine has to compensate.
It just makes sense that if you are dealing with neck pain you should see a healthcare practitioner who specializes in the neck. Plus, upper cervical adjustments are gentle and precise, so they hold longer and give your body the time it needs to heal naturally. There’s no popping or twisting as in general chiropractic. Plus, once your adjustments begin to hold, you may not even have to go every week, so this is a cost-effective solution as well.
Of course, to lengthen your time between visits, you will want to apply the suggestions in this article and others the practitioner may provide during your visit to help your adjustments hold longer. The key is never to ignore neck pain. It’s your body’s way of saying it needs help. Find an upper cervical chiropractor near you to get the help you need.