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Ergonomics Blog - neck pain

Tips to Relieve Shoulder and Neck Pain


Do your shoulders and neck ache after a long day of work? Many people experience muscle tension and soreness from long hours hunched over a desk or computer. The most common cause of pain in the work place is poor posture. We slouch, raise our shoulders, or simply contort our bodies into strange positions without being aware of the strain we place on our muscles. Try these tips to find pain relief and to prevent future pain.

  • Sit (or stand) up straight: Good posture is vital in preventing and relieving pain in your shoulders, neck and back. Start by adjusting your chair to fit your body specifically. Your feet should rest firmly on the floor and the armrests should by low enough to allow free arm movement from the elbow. Lower the back rest to fit the curvature of your back, and confirm that your lower back is properly supported. Additional lumbar support can be added easily if you need more support.

  • Take a Break to Stretch: Create a new habit of taking a short break at least once an hour. It doesn’t have to be long, just a minute or two to get up from your chair and walk around. Stretch your shoulders, neck and back regularly throughout your day.

  • Move Your Keyboard: Are your arms and shoulders completely relaxed while you are typing or using your mouse? If you keyboard is too high, or too low, you tend to tighten these muscles, creating tension and soreness. For pain-free typing, use an adjustable keyboard tray to place your keyboard about two inches above your lap, slightly below your relaxed elbow height. You may also find significant improvement in muscle tension by using an ergonomically designed mini keyboard or a split keyboard.

  • Adjust Your Computer Screen: Your monitor should be centered directly in front of you, about 15 to 25 inches away, and sit at eye-level. Looking down or up, turning to the side or leaning forward to look at your screen will strain your neck muscles. Monitor shelves are easy to install and quickly provide additional height.

Neck and shoulder pain can lower your productivity and create additional stress in the work place. These tips can bring relief to your current discomfort, and restore good posture to prevent additional pain. Taking frequent breaks and adjusting your work station can bring quick relief, and maintaining healthy posture can protect you into the future.

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