Constant Headaches And Neck Pain? It Could Be The Way You Are Sitting At The Computer

It might have occurred to you that while you may be happily tapping away at your keyboard, you are also creating problems in your body that can lead to chronic neck pain or headaches. Your headaches and neck pain may stem from the way that you sit while you are working at your computer and can usually be fixed by simple changes to posture.

Why Do I Get Pain?

There are a number of factors at play related to your posture when you spend large amounts of time sitting at a computer improperly. Many repetitive movements of your upper body and your arms contribute to problems in your ligaments, muscles, joints, and tendons. Shoulders that are misaligned are typically hunched, which can lead a domino effect of disorder. Not only does it cause a misaligned neck (when your neck is sticking out forwards) but further creates a tremendous amount of strain on your neck muscles. This then leads to an unhealthy build up of tension, chronic pain, headaches, and potentially many other long-term effects.

Also keep in mind the effect that reflected glare and other common issues related to using computer screens can have on your posture, which can further cause you to change from a correct posture to an uncomfortable one in order to better see the screen. To fight eyestrain while using a computer, you can try to adjust the lighting in your room by turning off any unneeded lights or closing your blinds, using a hood or visor on your monitor or repositioning your workspace to allow a healthier angle.

Tips To Avoid Headaches and Neck Pain

Many people find that by making sure their workspace is ergonomic, many of the problems related to posture and repetitive strain can be greatly reduced. Ergonomics is the science of arranging yourself and the objects in your environment in a way that maximizes your well being.

In the context of a computer workstation, ergonomics considers how your seating arrangement, computer monitor and interaction method (keyboard, mouse, etc.) can be situated to reduce any strain on your neck and back. Your spine naturally curves in three places, at the top, middle and the bottom.  The key to protecting your body in this situation is to maintain the natural curvature of your cervical spine, the portion at the top of the spine, by keeping your neck and head in a neutral position. Your head is supported by your cervical spine. A neutral position is a position where you aren't slouched over with your neck craned forward. Instead, you should be sitting up with your spine naturally supporting your head. 

Don't forget to take breaks! You must avoid staying in any position for long periods of time. Frequently stretch your muscles in your shoulders and neck. Get up and relax your arms, rolling your shoulders in a circular motion. Roll your head from side to side. Doing some simple exercise throughout the day will allow you to feel the muscles in your neck and back relax and stretch naturally.

What If Its Not Getting Better?

If you find that you have a chronic pain that is not getting better, it is wise to seek the help of medical professionals. Many people with chronic headaches that receive treatment from a chiropractor show improvement. This improvement can range from slight, all the way up a complete elimination, depending on the number of sessions as well as the extent to which the person follows chiropractic advice. Chiropractors can help with the plethora of issues involved with your posture and any pain you may be experiencing. They can not only perform spinal manipulation and adjustments that alleviate stress by improving the function of your spine, but also provide advice about nutrition, posture, ergonomics, relaxation and exercise.

Many people find that with the right mix of prevention, exercise and treatment, the chronic pain commonly produced by sitting at a computer can be completely removed. So next time you curse your computer for your bad posture, consider what you can do yourself to improve your situation.