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Sitting: A Pain in the Neck

151006_neck sorenessNeck pain can be, well, a pain in the neck. For those who have a desk job, the likelihood of experiencing neck pain is much greater: sitting requires the heavy use of the muscles between your shoulder blades and surrounding your neck.

Sitting at the top of your body, your neck’s health is dependent on the curvature of the spine and the position of the head. If the head and spine are not in proper alignment – for instance, while slouching – the neck is more susceptible to injury or painful conditions. Slouching is when the head to slants forward in front of the shoulders. The weight of this forward pull puts unwanted stress on the vertebrae of the lower neck and overworking shoulder muscles, causing counterbalance and pain.

If you work in an office and sit at a desk all day, reducing neck soreness means paying attention to your body mechanics. Neck and back soreness are some of the most common workplace injuries, especially when you’re slouching in an office chair for a prolonged amount of time. Recent research shows that sitting can be harmful to your health beyond just simple muscle aches. The studies recommend following a 20-8-2 rule: sit for 20 minutes, stand for eight minutes, and move around for about 2 minutes.

In addition to standing and being active regularly throughout your day, ergonomics is key when you have a sedentary workweek. It’s important for your desk, chair, and computer monitor to be at a comfortable height for your knees, hips, and elbows to bend at a 90-degree angle. Additional methods for reducing neck soreness include icing to numb the pain, using a roller or ball to apply pressure and roll out the pain, and even stretching to alleviate muscle tightness.

If you’re experiencing ongoing neck or back pain, contact our office to set up a consultation.