Relieve Neck Pain When Sitting At A Desk

Do You Get Neck Pain When Sitting At A Desk?

Watch the video to learn how to relieve neck pain when sitting at a desk...

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Why Do You Get Neck Pain Sitting At Desk?

You'd think that working at a desk would be a relatively safe job that puts you at low risk for injury.

While working at a desk doesn't pose the risk for an acute injury such as working construction or doing some other form of manual injury, postural and repetitive strain injuries are common in people work at a desk call day.

Your Neck Holds Up Your Head

As made famous in the 1996 Movie "Jerry Maguire", the human head is quite heavy.

The human head weight 8 lbs gif from Jerry Maguire. Holding the weight of your head up all day is one reason you may have neck pain when sitting at a desk

In fact, the human head is heavier than 8 lbs in most adults. It's closer to 5kg (11 lbs). In any weight, you're essentially holding a bowling ball of some size on top of your neck all day long.

It's no wonder the top bone of the neck (C1) is called the atlas, in reference to the Greek mythology character Atlas, who held up the weight of the world on his back.

Now imagine holding that bowling ball in your hand with your elbow bent and the ball right over your elbow.

Pretty easy to do right? 

But what if you were to hold the ball out in front of your elbow?

It probably wouldn't be very long before you arm muscles started to get tired.

Well, your neck muscles essentially do the same job holding your head up when sitting at a desk all day.

Sitting Creates Tension In Your Neck Muscles

Your neck muscles are much smaller than your arm muscles, so they tire out quite quickly.

If you sit with your head over your shoulders and your head vertically aligned with your neck, sitting all day isn't too hard.

However, if your head is even just slightly in front of your shoulders, your neck muscles have to start to work harder to hold up the weight of your head.

In fact, one study showed that trigger points, or "knots", start to develop in the neck muscles after just 1 hour of continuous typing.

It's no wonder why so many people "carry their stress" in their neck and shoulders.

Treatments such as manual trigger point therapy and dry needling can be effective at treating myofascial trigger points.

However, with just some postural changes, you can prevent neck pain when sitting at a desk in the first place.

How To Relieve Neck Pain When Sitting At A Desk

    1. The best thing to relieve neck pain when sitting at a desk is to get up and move around more often, at least once an hour.
    2. When sitting in your chair, scoot all the way back so that your back is up against the back rest. You want to make sure the back of the chair is completely supporting your lower back. \
    3. It helps to take a pillow or small towel to support your upper back as well. Your upper back, or thoracic area is supposed to be slightly rounded.  It should not be perfectly upright.
    4. If you can, it also helps to have a headrest to support your head and neck.
    5. You want a 10 degree downward viewing angle at you computer monitor. You don't want to sit up tall looking up at your monitor because this puts a lot of strain on your neck muscles.
    6. You also want good arm support from your armrests because your arms hang from your neck from muscles. If you have to hold your arms up all day, this puts a lot of stress on your neck muscles and can cause neck pain when sitting at a desk.

  1. A Good Chair Can Help Prevent Neck Pain When Sitting At A Desk

  2. If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk for work, and you don't have a good office chair, getting a good office chair will be a good investment in your health long term. You want to get a high-back chair with adjustable height, adjustable seat tilt and back rest recline, adjustable armrests, and preferably a headrest. The more adjustable features that are available, the more you can customize your chair to your body.  Here's an example of a good desk chair from amazon.com:

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