A friend of time recently lost her job at StarBucks but was quickly able to find a new one. She was pretty excited. The new job involved customer service at an online shoe store. After one week, she was complaining about soreness and tightness in her neck at the end of the day. She loved her job, but she had to do something for neck pain relief.
Starting a New Job means you have to get ready for a new position at work and new demands. Sitting in one positon for a prolonged period of time can put a lot of stress on your neck, and upper back area. Look at the ergonomics of your seat chair and how your computer is positioned. Here are some things to specific things to consider at a new job:
- Look at each component of your workstation. For example, Your chair: Does it have a good lumbar support and neck support? Does it have a thick padded seat? Padded and adjustable arms can make a huge difference. Finally, does it have dual wheel casters so you can move around easily? Can you adjust the height and do you have the ability to tilt
the seat? I know that sometimes at a new job you don't have control over the ergonomics of your workstation, but this can make a huge difference when it comes to your comfort. Having proper neck posture at your computer desk is an important aspect for working neck pain free and headache free.
- Take frequent breaks at work. I know this is difficult but even just a 2-3 minute of rolling your shoulers back and forth, standing up and stretching, looking away from your screen can make such a big difference in decreasing pain intensity.
- Do Neck exercises everyday. These involve bending your head forward and backward, bending to the side and turning your head and neck. You want to make sure you hold the stretch for at least 15-20 seconds. With stretches you never want to do it to the point of pain, only to the point of feeling a stretch. Try them every while taking a hot shower. This facilitates and make it easier to stretch.
- Ice your neck and upper back muscles. This helps decrease inflammation and provides pain relieving analgesic effect. Ice for 10-15 min after work if possible. Get an ice pack that is designed for the cervical spine and upper back: 6x20 dimensions for the neck, 9x16 for the upper shoulders+neck
- Get treatment for your neck and upper back muscles. Sitting in one position for a long time can put a lot of stress on your body. What ends up happening is that you may assume certain positions that cause over firing of muscles- making them tight and sore by the end of the day. One example is the shoulder muscles. You may be unconsciously raising your scrunching up your shoulders or perhaps holding your head and neck in one position for a long time. This can happen while on the computer or with talking on the telephone. The hot spots are going to be the upper trapezius, the cervical paraspinals, the rhomboid muscles (in between the shoulder blades), and the thoracic paraspinals. Often times, these muscles will develop trigger points, which are tender points that are the source of a lot of pain. They can also refer pain to other areas. To work out these trigger points see a massage therapist who can pin point the exact areas of tenderness. Also, you can use a home t.e.n.s unit, biofreeze natural pain relief gel, or even heat or ice.
- Get treatment by a chiropractor. They will be able to diagnose a misalignment in your cervical or thoracic spine. A chiropractic visit may involve a consult, a history of previous accidents or trauma, an exam (orthopedic/ neurological exam), range of motion studies (how far can you move your neck in certain ways), motion palpation of your spine and maybe x-rays if needed. Also they have the ability to do therapy such as traction, heat, ice, electric stimulation, mobilization of your spine- whatever is necessary to feel better and function more optimally. If you are going to involved in a stressful job, having chiropractic care can keep you pain free.
- How to Prevent Neck Pain at your Desk Job
- The Relationship between Neck Pain and Stress
- Making Your Workstation Pain Free
- Remedy for A Stiff Neck