Posted by: Bill & Gayle McCord | July 27, 2011

Tips for Reducing & Eliminating Neck & Shoulder Pain

Shoulder & Neck Pain at Work

How often do you find that your neck and shoulders ache after  along day at work?  You may not even realize that the pain is a result of work since it seeps into everyday life after  a while.  Usually, these aches and pains come from muscle tension resulting from work-related strain.  Not only are they uncomfortable, they also keep you from being as productive as possible.

Thus, I thought I’d share some tips that might help you find pain relief and also prevent future pain.

  • Sit (or stand) up (mostly) straight:  Poor posture is a common contributor to shoulder and neck woes.  Examples of poor posture are slouching, raising your shoulders, or simply twisting your body into awkward positions without being aware of the strain you are placing on your muscles.  In contrast, good posture prevents and relieves pain in your shoulders, neck, and back. The first step in maintaining good posture is to adjust your chair to fit your body. More than just preferences, your chair height should allow your feet to rest firmly on the floor and the armrests should be low enough to allow free arm movement from the elbow. Additionally, lower the back rest to fit the curve of your back, and make sure that your lower back is properly supported. Additional lumbar support can be added easily if you need more support or your chair doesn’t provide good support.  Furthermore, many workers are starting to see the advantages of an adjustable height ergonomic desk that they can adjust to meet their changing needs as they sit or stand to work.
  • Take a Break to Stretch: Like most activities, you need breaks at work.  Try to be intentional about taking a short break at least once an hour, even a minute or two to walk around.   This will allow you to stretch your shoulders, neck, and back regularly throughout your day.
  • Move Your Keyboard: This one is usually a surprise- by improperly placing your keyboard, you force your body to compensate.  If your keyboard is too high, or too low, you tend to tighten those muscles, creating tension and soreness.  Instead, your keyboard should be centered directly in front of you and preferably slightly lower than your desktop so your arms and shoulders can be  completely relaxed while you are typing or using your mouse. For pain-free typing, use an adjustable keyboard tray to place your keyboard about two inches above your lap, slightly below your relaxed elbow height.
  • Adjust Your Computer Screen: Your monitor should be centered directly in front of you, about 15 to 25 inches away, and sit at eye-level. Looking down or up, turning to the side or leaning forward to look at your screen will strain your neck muscles. You can use a monitor shelf to raise the screen- it’s easy to install and quickly provides additional height.

Neck and shoulder pain can lower your productivity and create additional stress in the work place. These tips can bring relief to your current discomfort, and restore good posture to prevent additional pain.


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