Poor posture, strained muscles, and traumas are just a few of the many causes of neck pain. One of the most common causes of neck pain is incorrect computer desk setup.
Have you been experiencing neck pain lately? Some muscles that may be tight or weak are the levator, upper trap, cervical paraspinals, and periscapular muscles. If you often experience neck pain, it’s important to have your computer desk set up properly to avoid further pain.
Tips On How to Set Up Your Computer Desk to Avoid Neck Pain
We have all been there. You are in the middle of an important project at work, and you suddenly realize that your neck and shoulders are killing you. Worst of all, this pain isn’t going away anytime soon. Sound familiar? If you spend a lot of time working at a computer, it’s important to ensure that your desk is set up in a way that won’t strain your neck and shoulders. Here are five tips for setting up your computer desk to avoid neck pain.
Position your computer screen well
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Get a comfortable chair
Your chair should have good back support and be at a height that allows your feet to rest flat on the floor with a 90-degree bend in your knees. You need to maintain a neutral spine/ back while sitting. You can adjust your chair so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are at a 90-degree angle. This will help keep your spine in alignment, which will, in turn, help reduce strain on your neck and shoulders.
Position your keyboard and mouse properly
Place your keyboard at a comfortable height, so you are not reaching up or down to type. It should be at elbow level with a 90-degree bend in your wrists. This will help to avoid strain on your wrists and forearms. Again, this will help keep your spine in alignment and reduce strain on your neck and shoulders.
So much so, invest in a good ergonomic mouse. An ergonomic mouse is designed to fit comfortably in your hand and help reduce strain on your wrist while working.
Take breaks often
It’s important to give your body a break from time to time, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Get up and stretch or take a walk around the office every hour or so to keep your body from getting too stiff.
5 Beginner Exercises Following a Sprain
If you have been experiencing neck pain, here are some exercises you can do.
Cervical AROM (flex/ extension/ SB/ rotation)
The cervical spine (neck) has a normal range of motion in all directions. This can be tested by gently moving your head side to side, up and down, and rotating it clockwise and counterclockwise.
To do this stretch, you will need to sit up tall and bend your neck towards your left shoulder. Do the same for the right side. You can also use your hand to help pull your head towards your shoulder.
This stretch is done by placing your hand at the back of your head and gently pushing your head forward or sideways. You should feel a stretch in the back of your neck.
Shoulder shrug, rolls
Shrug your shoulders up to your ears and hold for 5 seconds. Then, roll them backward ten times.
Deep neck flexion (chin tucks)
This exercise is done by gently pushing your chin back so that you feel a stretch in the front of your neck. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
Some of the advanced exercises you can do include;
- Prone Y, T, I- lay on the stomach with arms sideways, forming a Y, raise both arms horizontally to form a T, and finally raise both hands vertically to form an I.
- Overhead shoulder press- start with arms at shoulder level and press them down.
- Side plank- hold yourself up on one arm in a push-up position superman- lie face down and raise both arms and legs off the ground.
- Normal plank- hold yourself up in a push-up position for about a minute and repeat.
If you experience any pain or discomfort during these exercises, stop and consult a healthcare professional.
Dealing with neck issues such as a pinched nerve, neck spasm, carpal tunnel, herniated disc, and so on can be extremely tough. One of the causes of these issues is incorrect posture. If you spend a lot of time working on a computer, it’s important to ensure that your desk is set up in a way that won’t strain your neck and shoulders.
Using these simple tips, you can avoid neck stiffness and remain at ease while working or gaming. However, if you are experiencing neck pain and have not been able to find relief, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare professional.