Most computer users experience pain in their necks. There’s even a term for this: “tech neck.” It’s the act of stressing muscles while using computers, as well as phones and tablets. People put their necks into odd and/or fixed positions for long periods of time, resulting in painful necks, shoulders, etc. They can feel stiff and sore, and this is a problem that’s getting worse as more and more people utilize computers and such.
Just how long does the average person spend on a computer or device? Americans spend about six hours a day with digital media, which includes about three and a half hours on mobile devices. Holding the neck still for long periods of time isn’t good. It creates headaches, neck spasms and irritated shoulder joints.
If you don’t want to let computer use be a pain in the neck, what should you do?
It’s best to sit with your chair reclining about 30 degrees with a good lumbar support. The less slouching you do, the better. Even though you think you should always sit up straight, leaning back a little lets your body’s weight go into the chair instead of straight down the spine. With less force on the spine, you’ll hurt less.
Also, you should get up and move your body frequently– don’t just sit in the same position for hours at a desk. Get up and walk around every 20 minutes. This gets your blood circulating and you’re able to move your neck into a different position. If you can work standing up, do so– that’ll help, too.
Do you exercise regularly? If not, you should because aerobic activity can really help keep your neck, back and overall body healthier. It’s a good idea to exercise for about 30 minutes three or four times per week. Aerobic exercise sends oxygenated blood to tired muscles, “washing away” chemicals that cause inflammation and pain.
Finally, consider seeing a chiropractor for help with relieving your pain in the neck. If and when you experience pain in the neck from computer use, it’s a smart idea to make an appointment with Lakewoods Chiropractic; call 651-464-0800 to do so.