TIPS TO PREVENT NECK PAIN
People working in offices normally complain of pain in the neck and upper neck region. This occur due to the tendency to move the head and the neck forwards followed by the rounding up of the shoulders and thereby putting extra pressure on the neck and the upper back muscles.
Slumping while sitting exerts a weight of approximately 16 kg on the neck while the head actually weighs 5 kg. this extra weight means muscles of the neck and the back have to work much harder , thereby tiring quickly.
Neck pain can be manifested as headache , pain in the upper back area or the whole arm. Headache originating in the neck causes restriction in neck movements.
Following tips can help in avoiding neck pain –
1. While concentrating on the computer screen , reading material should always be about 15 – 30 degrees below from the head position or at the eye level contact to avoid sustained bending of the head/neck.
To confirm close your eyes first and then open slowly. If the gaze is at the centre of the computer screen, then the level is Perfect , otherwise this needs to be raised or lowered suitably.
The keyboard and mouse should be operated with relaxed shoulders and bent elbows. The keyboard should be kept close to the Lap . If no keyboard table is available , then it is better to have the keyboard on the knees so that your arms and shoulders are not raised to put strain on the upper back muscles.
2. While typing , writing and reading etc it is advisable to keeps the arms vertical with the elbow behind the plane of the chest , and not projected forwad. Arm –rest of the chair helps in taking off the load from shoulder and the neck.
3. When we sit behind a table, the chair height should be such that the forearms rest comfortably on the table without hunching the shoulders up and down. People wearing eye glasses while reading should place the head in an erect balanced position by adjusting the frame of the eye- glasses on the nose in such a way that neck bending is avoided.
4. Near sightedness should be corrected since it causes the head forward posture which leads to neck pain. Eye glasses with adequate focal length should be used so that a person can see clearly with the head in balanced position.
5. An Awkward posture used for a long time at office or on a computer tends to develop a round shoulder posture . Correction requires a gentle movement of the head backwards to bring the ears in line with the shoulders. People with a long supple neck should strengthen there neck muscles as they are more prone to developing pain in the neck than those with a short stocky neck because of great leverage and demand placed on the muscles.
Swinging the head around at full range of motion – head rolling- should be avoided as this can cause pain , dizziness and vertigo. Side bending neck exercise – by bringing the ear to the shoulder first on one side and then other side – helps in improve flexibility of the neck.
6. Holding your head with hands while doing sit-ups can cause neck pain. Alternatively one should place the hands either across the chest or on the temple to avoid neck strain.
7. Excessive neck extension while sleeping can be corrected by using a small , soft pillow that supports the normal cervical curve . Individuals who prefer side sleeping should tuck the side pillow between the shoulder and the chin and not under the shoulder to avoid pain neck muscles
8. Neck pain can occur while reading when the bed lamp is placed on one side of the bed. The reading light should fall directly on the book . While typing from copy , it is important to place the copy at eye level and as near as possible to the centre of the line vision. Placing a copy at the sides involves neck rotation and can cause stiffness/pain of neck.
9. A tight shirt collar and clinching the necktie too tightly can cause neck pain. While selecting a shirt a finger should fit comfortably inside the collar not only when looking straight but also looking at the sides.
10. While talking on the telephone for a prolonged period of time , one should change one’s hand to hold the receiver . Use of a headset is recommended in such cases.
11. Peoples suffering from vertigo and dizziness should avoid hyperextension of the neck while sleeping , sitting in a Beauty Parlour or at Dentist’s chair.