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Preventing Neck Pain While Working

09 June 2021

One of the most prevalent physical pains of those who work in the office is neck pain.

Fortunately, not only is it preventable it is also curable. A lot of people experience neck pain from previous injuries but also various causes like stress from work or being in the same position for an extended period of time when you are in the office. 

The neck is an integral part of the human body which is composed of vertebrae that goes from the spine to your head. Apart from that, it houses the trachea or the windpipe used for breathing, the larynx which is our voice box, the pharynx which carries food and air, and the parathyroid glands which regulate the calcium in our blood and bones. The vascular compartment is also found in the neck which houses the jugular vein, carotid artery, and vagus nerve. Lastly, 300 cervical lymph nodes are found in the neck. 

As much as the neck has a lot of functionality, it is also subjected to a lot of stress and pain.

The neck supports 11 lbs or 5 kg of mass which is your head. Everything that it is composed of: the muscles, bones, and ligaments allows movement as it supports weight. If there is any injury, genetic abnormality, or inflammation in the neck, it would cause stiffness and pain in this part of the body. 

Many of the people who experience neck pain are usually due to poor posture and overuse. Some experience neck pain from infections or injuries like contact sports, dancing, whiplash, etc. Usually, neck pain subsides after a few days but if it persists for more than a week, it can be indicative of a more serious injury that needs to be checked by doctors. 

There are a lot of things that may cause neck pains. If the neck pain is just a simple strain or muscle tension, it must be due to any of the following. The first is a bad sleeping position. At times we have partners or pets to share a bed with and we have to adapt our sleeping position to how they sleep. Unfortunately, when a bed is not large enough to allow movement or change of positions we tend to suffer from neck pains and more.

Neck pain is also one of those negligible exercise-related injuries.

Most of the time people tend to forget to do their warm-ups or cooldowns, that or they neglect to add the neck to these warms ups. However, the neck also needs to be prepared for the amount of activity that it will be part of and support. In weightlifting or other strenuous sports, there are also times when the neck moves to a new position too fast or gets jerked to another position. This would also cause neck pain and injury. 

Another cause that most workers may have had more than once is repetitive strain injuries from poor posture. Slouching which is defined as standing or sitting in a drooping posture or movement may also be a risk for neck pain. When the monitor and keyboard are also not placed in a way that makes it comfortable to work for long could also cause a stiff neck. Working and sitting all day without changing your position is also not a good idea for those working in the office.

Here are some tips to prevent neck pain:

  • Correcting your posture would do wonders in avoiding neck pains. Holding your head in one place for a long extended period of time not only causes but worsens existing pain. That said, correcting your posture like making sure your head is above your shoulders, straightening your back, and trying to minimize the things that cause you to put your head on one side would be a good idea.
  • If you need to make calls in the office, try not to tuck the phone between your ear and shoulders. A bluetooth on-ear device or headset to make the call would be better for your neck health.

Adjust your desk, chair, and monitor to a level or angle that is most comfortable for your body. The stuff that you use should conform to you and your needs, not the other way around. This would ensure that no pain can get in the way of your efficiency. If anything hurts, take a little break. 

Vitamin C is good for your immune system. As has been previously saying, there are 300 nodes out of 800 in your neck. With that said, eating fruits or vegetables rich in vitamin c will greatly reduce your risk for infections that also cause neck pains even ear infections.

  • Try not to carry heavy baggage with straps on one shoulder. You can use the other one when it gets tired or check which other kinds of bag you can use to prevent any strain on your neck.

Neck pain is one of the things that are easily manageable when you have it. Prevention is better than cure, but if you find yourself in a situation that is already occurring you may want to opt for one or more of the following self-care options:

  • If you are feeling any inflammation, you can use an ice pack for 20 minutes any time of the day that it is needed. A warm shower and heating pad after will relax your body and release the tensions in your neck muscles. Try to have a good posture and avoid doing strenuous activities or positions that would exacerbate your symptoms.

Take over-the-counter pain relieving medicine and eat foods that are known to be good for inflammation like fish, salmon, sardines, fruits, and vegetables.

At FlexiSpot, the products are designed to encourage people to have a good posture and prevent known stiffness and strains, especially the neck. One example of this is the Soutien Ergonomic Office Chair OC10B. It has a great lumbar and neck support system and it has three (3) levels of height adjustment so that it would conform to your body. Check on this product for more details.