Neck and Shoulder Pains

Small changes to your work environment can mean big changes to your health.

Both neck and shoulder pains are quite a common ailment for those, like me, who spend hours upon hours a day at a computer. Nowadays, the computer has become a central hub of different activities for a lot of people: from working to listening to music, watching movies and videos, writing and contacting their friends, playing games and so on. It's easier than ever to stay hooked for hours on this incredible machine. Most neck and shoulder problems are caused by the positioning of the elements in your desktop and usage issues with some of your computer hardware.

I had a really serious shoulder pain issue a few months ago. To give you an idea of all the time I spend with my computer per day, let me just tell you that I work, study and play on this device, and therefore a lot of my day was spent sitting in front of it. The pain had been building up till the point where it was almost unbearable. In panic I even thought I might be suffering from a frozen shoulder syndrome and started running around the web and asking some of my friends for advice on frozen shoulder treatment. Of course, I was exaggerating. Not because my problem was of no consequence, but because there are simple things everyone can do right now to significantly reduce the risk to endure these kind of pains.

Rest your Head

Your head weights quite a bit. If it is directly over your body while you're working at the computer, all your neck, shoulder and upper back muscles can stay at rest. However, even if your head is tilted forward just a few inches, all your muscles need to constantly work to literally keep it from falling forward.

The position of your monitor will affect the way your body rests when you are looking at the screen. This is an unconscious process and the only way to control it would be to devote your whole attention to it, which is bad when you actually want to get something else done. If your monitor is too low, high, or off centre it will make your muscles work constantly which leads to the usual pain and fatigue. If your monitor is in the right position, you will feel better and have more energy, which will allow you to get more work done and prevent injuries.

For proper usage, make sure your monitor is at arms length distance from your sitting position. You can do this by stretching your hands upfront and putting the monitor at knuckle length. As far as height goes, a quick and easy tip is to place your monitor so that the first line of text rests just under your eye level. Last but not least, you should also control the tilt of your monitor and make sure that it directly faces you. What you are looking for is for the monitor to be parallel with your face at all times. Be sure to keep these tips in mind and you will enjoy a much better time when in front of your computer.