Best ways to avoid work-related back and neck pain
Posted on: 20 June 2016 by James Martin
If you suffer from back and neck pain - go ahead and read our guidelines.
Back and neck pain affects far too many people worldwide, particularly those that work at a desk for significant amounts of time each day. If this sounds similar to you, then you could be at a risk of future back and neck pain. Luckily, you’re about to learn how to prevent being another unfortunate victim.
The biggest cause for back and neck pain is poor posture. Over time, poor posture will have a variety of consequences. The results of poor posture can include muscles tightening and getting tired, neck joints and nerves being put under pressure, and ligaments over-stretching.
As mentioned earlier, back and neck pain is usually caused by long periods of deskwork. Working with your shoulders slouched and your head down can not only lead to back and neck pain, but also increases your risk of injury and could even make you feel more tired.
Thankfully, with a few small changes you’ll be well on your way to preventing painful experiences in the future. Here are some great tips from professionals at Bend + Mend to assist you with this feat:
First and foremost, ensure that your posture is excellent. Being the number one cause for back and neck pain, this step can’t be ignored. You can do this by relaxing your shoulders, lifting your chest, and dropping your chin.
Avoid working with your head facing down or to one side for too long—switch positions regularly.
Take a timed rest break every 30 minutes. Use this time to stretch your body, this will help reduce muscle tightness.
Lastly, recognise when you’re feeling tense. Attempt relaxing your muscles.
If you’re truly interested in maintaining the health of your neck and back, you’ll also need to review your workstation. Considering that you spend numerous hours here each day, it is absolutely vital that you’re not harming yourself by being there.
Minimising stress on your neck, back and upper body needs to be a strong priority, so here’s some advice to ensure that your workplace isn’t harming you:
Buy a comfortable, high quality chair: Make sure that it’s adjustable, because your feet need to be firmly placed on the ground (use a foot rest if necessary). Your knees and elbows should both be bent at a 90-degree angle. Your chair shouldn’t ever restrict the movement of your shoulders, this can be avoided by adjusting the back rest to follow your back’s natural shape. Also, avoid arm rests. Although they may seem convenient or look professional, arm rests usually create distance between the desk and your chair. This isn’t helpful at all; your chair should be tucked in enough so that your belly is about to touch the desk. This helps with sitting in an upright posture.
Avoid reading papers straight from the table: This can cause your neck to flex incorrectly, so try using a document holder instead.
Position your computer correctly: Check that your computer is about one arm’s length away. Also, when you’re sitting up tall, the top of the screen should be in line with your eyes.
If possible, avoid laptops: Laptops don’t allow you to keep your arms at 90 degrees and the top of the screen to stay in line with your eyes simultaneously, so don’t spend too much time on these devices.
Now that you’ve learnt some ways to avoid work-related back and neck pain, implement these actions to your daily life. Don’t wait for an injury to occur, prevent it with these simple guidelines.