Neck Pain and Computer Use

Neck Pain & Computer Use Is A Growing Problem With Technology Advances

Neck pain from computer use can be experienced between the bottom of the head around the level of the ear towards the upper part of the back and shoulders. For individuals that invest significant amounts of time working with computer systems, neck pain can be a frequent issue. By computer systems, we are talking about desktops, laptops, notebooks a personal computer, display units as well as terminals, include things like using a keyboard as well as devices such as a mouse, trackball and smartphones.

neck pain & computers

There’s been wonderful engineering advancements in computer systems alongside a transfer toward a service focused economic climate. It’s resulted in less active work since the downsizing regarding amount of workers can be used to reduce deficits in corporate and business revenue as well as greater requirements in productiveness for individuals who stay with an organization as well as a rise in sick leave as a result of neck pain from using computers. Therefore more individuals make use of computer systems pertaining to work as well as entertainment so it is imperative to seek improved methods to cope with neck pain related to prolonged utilization of computers.

A computer assists companies in minimizing problems at work through the elimination of inefficient duties because workers in offices do not have to go away from their desk in order to get the mail, copy. This kind of optimizing while increasing efficiency by means of eliminating inefficiencies associated with certain jobs has a number of regrettable implications regarding the employee; there’s a reducing of the quantity of breaks available from repeated as well as stationary work duties that really help to recover wellness.

The aspects associated with neck pain tend to be complex including actual physical, emotional, personal, as well as environment origins. Nevertheless, workers in offices and also people who use computers encounter the greatest occurrence involving neck pain involving workers with a 1 year incidence involving neck pain from computer use varying from 17 to 63 Percent. The actual weekly incidence involving shoulder and neck pain in young people increased from 17 to 28 Percent from 1989 to 96, which is believed to be associated with an increase of inactivity, as well as greater use of computers. Furthermore, psychosomatic signs and symptoms throughout adolescence are able to forecast neck pain in their adult years, establishing neck pain of future employees prior to go into the labor force.

Exhaustion and difficulty sleeping during adolescence tend to be related to a increased incidence involving neck pain in adult life. Repeated computer system use is a known risk for young people using 4 to 5 hours per day, along with young people coming in contact with computer connected activities from early ages, the effects of neck pain from computer use in the coming years warrants a lot more consideration.

Persistent neck pain sufferers utilize health care twice as frequently as the remainder of the population. The approximated expense involved with work associated musculoskeletal issues is forecasted to be in between 45 and 54 billion dollars each year.

Along with aspects detailed previously, you can find more risks related to neck pain. There exists a distinct connection revealing workers having a previous history of neck, back and also upper extremity pain tend to encounter neck pain. Individuals with severe neck pain are also more prone to possess additional issues which substantially impact their own health. The sensation involving neck muscular tension is a personal risk with regard to neck pain and perception of muscle strain within the neck 3 out of 7 days in a week have a greater occurrence of neck pain, in comparison to individuals that didn’t experience muscle tension. Frequently associated with trapezius muscle pain, the upper section of the trapezius muscle in computer system workers having neck pain experienced a lesser amount of comparative relaxation time in the course of stress filled assignments.

There’s almost twice the risk factor for acquiring neck pain for individuals that spend much of their day seated during work. Length of computer usage, rate of taking breaks, technique of keyboard use, placement with monitors, use regarding input units are additionally related to neck pain at the workplace. Poor head and neck posture, in which flexion is prominent (slumped forwards) is observed when individuals make use of a notebook computer as well as a sub notebook computer. All these amplified neck flexion and are linked with elevated trapezius muscle tension along with shoulder and neck irritation at work.

Typically sitting down for an extended time is linked with double the risk of getting neck discomfort. Employees that had light loading tasks experienced less neck pain in comparison with no loading tasks (seated). Neck soreness is actually two times probable for those sitting in inadequate posture having the head & neck flexed forward. Staying inactive in the course of leisure time like watching TV is linked with a greater incidence involving neck pain. Being active through recreational time is associated with nearly two times the probability of the absence neck pain.

Reducing Neck Pain From Computer Use

Having mini breaks, or even micro breaks involving Thirty seconds every twenty to forty minutes is an efficient way to lower neck pain at the office plus these kinds of brief breaks haven’t any negative impact on worker productiveness.

Rest Breaks or Work Pauses

Physical and mental stresses may be alleviated by adding rest breaks. These breaks can help to limit muscle soreness, allowing muscles to recover from prolonged static postures and/or repetitive motions, preventing overloading that can lead to chronic muscle strain. A rest break is stopping computer work for a brief period of time to rest, change posture, get up and stretch or do some other activity.

A greater possibility regarding work connected neck pain is observed in individuals having greater psychological stress, circumstances which require the highest job stress, lack of staff at the office, a reduced level of control over the task, as well as lower managing assistance. Individuals with psychological fatigue by the end of the working day are two times likely to encounter work linked neck pain.

Having people who use computers participating in actual physical activity within their workday would certainly be a suitable prevention approach. Encouraging recreational activities is advisable for non-active personnel. Activity encourages mechanical as well as metabolism processes which tend to be restorative with regard to painful tissues.

Computer work stations need to be set up in order to optimize appropriate healthy posture and reduce neck flexion by using document holders and also display screen height modifications, suitable seats along with supports. Offering ergonomic principles to decrease neck pain while sitting for people who use computers may even be beneficial as being a prevention approach.

  • A 2015 study in the journal Ergonomics examined gravitational demands on neck muscles in those using tablet computers. They found mechanical demands from bending the head forward on neck muscles increased 3 to 5 times during seated tablet computer compared to those who sat with the head and neck in a neutral position, propping the computer up. They noted that using tablet computers with significant neck and head flexion is a risk factor for neck pain.

Supplying docking stations as well as external key boards pertaining to laptop users could have a prophylactic impact regarding neck pain.

Strengthening as well as stamina training of the neck muscles, that is demonstrated to reduce pain as well as impairment in chronic pain can be beneficial regarding people who use computers. People who use computers having neck pain experienced diminished action associated with the cervical extensor muscle groups and also increased activity of the trapezius, in comparison to individuals with out neck pain. Specific postural neck exercises and stretches could be valuable as being a preventative plus rehabilitative strategy.

Managers might be able to minimize neck pain at work simply by improving collective problem solving of personnel, as well as assuring workers have got assistance coming from superiors whenever making judgments.

Furthermore, solutions which promote relaxation as well as try to reduce perceived muscle tension might be helpful with regard to minimizing or even eradicating neck pain for all those individuals that perceive muscle stress within the neck throughout the week.

Notably, the chance of negative effects associated with participating in extended exposure with computers at an early age needs to be resolved, as the trend towards neck pain from computer use increases, especially with increasing use of smartphones, associated with a condition called text neck.

  • A 2020 study in the journal Work found computer workers were at risk for musculoskeletal complaints. The prevalence of pain for a year in the upper body was 38.2%. Frequently reported pains were in the neck (22.7%), lower back (22.7%), and eye strain (21.8%). The authors concluded, “It was identified that long working hours, excessive usage of smartphones, lack of exercise, incorrect workstation adjustments, and incorrect posture were the risk factors for the prevalence of pain.”
  • A 2021 study in Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care found that computer vision syndrome presented with eye-burning 71%, itching 67.5%, blurred vision 65%, tearing 62.3%, and other eye symptoms being reported. Neck/shoulder pain was found to be the most prevalent extra ocular symptom 85.2%; also back pain 78% and headache 70% are frequently expressed. A significant correlation was observed between symptoms and time spent using devices.
  • A 2021 study in the Journal of Medical Signals and Sensors indicates long time application of computers may physical and musculoskeletal issues. Failure to maintain proper body posture and angle while working with computers for a long time can cause various musculoskeletal problems, pains, and disorders. Neck pain due to the improper angle of the neck during prolonged work with a computer is one of the common musculoskeletal pain conditions among computer users. Following ergonomics guidelines may help computer users to reduce the neck pain.

Author Bio

Stephen Ornstein, D.C. has treated thousands of neck, shoulder and back conditions since graduating Sherman Chiropractic College in 1987 and during his involvement in Martial Arts. He holds certifications as a Peer Review Consultant from New York Chiropractic College, Physiological Therapeutics from National Chiropractic College, Modic Antibiotic Spinal Therapy from Dr. Hanne Albert, PT., MPH., Ph.D., Myofascial Release Techniques from Logan Chiropractic College, and learned Active Release Technique from the founder, P. Michael Leahy, DC, ART, CCSP.