How to reduce neck pain problems?
If you’re like most of the people who spend too much of their time sitting at a desk, then this inactive behaviour of yours puts you at increased risk for spending prolonged time in poor posture, potentially causing pain and discomfort. At some point in life we all have woken up with usual neck pain or can recall an event or injury that resulted in neck pain. The reason why Neck pain arises is usually from muscles, tendons, and ligaments commonly referred to as the soft tissues in and around the cervical spine (the neck).
Here are some causes and preventions that can help you reduce neck pain:
1) Image quality on your desktop screen – Before starting your work of the day do make sure the screen image is sharp, not fuzzy, stable, not jittery or flickering and bright enough for comfortable viewing. Try to get the best image quality as possible by adjusting screen brightness, contrast, refresh rate and resolution. The screen image must be at a comfortable viewing size. If you find screen content too small or large then select a different font size or use the zoom in and out function to perform better.
2) Avoid that screen glare – Your desktop screen should be free from any bright reflections and image should not appear to be washed out. To avoid that glare on your screen you should reposition the screen, dim the overhead lights or try using anti-glare filter to cover the screen. You can also start using a privacy filter for your desktop screen which can help because you will only be able to read your screen when you are properly aligned with it.
3) Adjust distance between your eyes and screen – The screen should be at a comfortable horizontal distance for viewing. If you can’t position this at a comfortable viewing distance, it is better for the eyes to have the screen too far away and zoom into the content rather than sit too close to the screen. The most comfortable viewing distance is usually is at least an arm’s length away from your body.
4) Make the Screen High Enough – Your eyes should be in line with an imaginary point on the screen that is about 2 inches below the top of the visible screen image when you are seated comfortably. Research studies have confirmed the best position for most users is to have the center of the screen about 17-18 degrees below horizontal for optimal viewing. The Ideal vertical position for the screen depends on the size of the screen and the size of the casting around the screen.
5) Check your vision – Always keep a check that your vision is properly corrected before you do any change to your computer screen set up. Natural changes in our vision occur in the early 40s so keep getting Periodic eye examinations by a qualified professional are valuable.
6) Avoid neck strain from texting – One of our deadly habits is texting or looking down at our mobile devices for a long length of time which puts excessive strain on our neck. Over time, the added pressure on the joints, ligaments and discs in our neck can lead to premature degenerative changes. So to avoid this neck damage from texting do raise the mobile device to eye level, minimize texting time, resting your hands and taking frequent breaks.
7) Walk around – Take a walk around the office every half hour to reduce the risk of developing back, neck or shoulder pain caused due to sitting for prolonged hours. Also get up and move around whenever you start to feel some achiness or tightness developing. Easy way to remember this is to set a silent alarm on your smart phones to go off every 30 minutes. We know it’s not possible to get up every time the alarm goes off, still it can be a good reminder that you’ve been sitting for quite a while, especially when you skip the alarm for a few times in a row.
8) Stay well hydrated – Another reason to drink lots of water during the day is to nourish and hydrate the discs which are the spongy structure that lie between the vertebrae in your neck. These discs are made up of mostly water, so staying well hydrated will help keep your discs strong.
These are few options that you can take to stay hydrated:
• Keep a water bottle with you and sip throughout the day.
• Set an alarm on your watch or cell phone for every 2 hours and have a glass of water every time it goes off.
• Drink 2-3 glasses of water with each meal you have.
9) Stretch your neck exercise – To keep your neck muscles strong try to do short sets of strengthening and stretching exercises throughout the day. One is chin tuck exercise which help strengthen the muscles that pull the head into alignment over the shoulders.
10) Try to carry weight evenly on shoulders – people often do mistakes of carrying their purse, laptop bags or briefcases on one side of their body. This can cause your shoulder to become uneven, straining your neck muscles. Try to lighten your load by taking only essentials in your bag and make an effort to keep your shoulders level at all times when you carry it.
11) Maintain supportive posture– Poor posture is the main cause of neck pain by straining muscles and ligaments that support the neck, resulting in injury over time. Head and shoulder forward posture is the most common example posture that contributes to neck pain. This happens when the neck slants forward, placing the head in front of the shoulders as for every inch the head shifts forward an extra 10 pounds is added to the muscles in the upper back and neck. Keep your chin inward to avoid this. This kind of posture causes the upper back to slump forward as wee, placing a strain on the entire spine.
12) Neck massage– There are certain massages that you can do yourself to relieve trigger points and lessen the pain. Trigger points are small knots in the muscle or fascia which is a layer of tissue under your skin and around the muscle which lead to irritation in your neck.
We hope these tips will help you to prevent and reduce neck pain.