Is Work a Pain in the Neck?

Jan 04, 2024
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We know that work can be a pain in the neck for many reasons, but we’re referring to a literal discomfort in your spine. If you’re experiencing tech neck, here’s what we want you to know.

Humans have evolved from hunter-gatherers who were always on the move to a far more sedentary people. More than 40% of civilian workers in the United States spend their work hours sitting, to say nothing of students and hours spent looking at digital devices.

As a result, we have a new condition that’s affecting a good number of people — tech neck. This literal pain in the neck can be debilitating and make your work hours very unpleasant.

If you’re experiencing neck pain because of work, our team here at Revive Spine & Pain Center wants to share a few important considerations, from prevention to treatment.

Why work can become a pain in the neck

Many people are referring to sitting as the new smoking, and there’s good reason for this. From your cardiovascular function to your musculoskeletal health, sitting can wreak havoc on your body.

When it comes to neck pain, the strain you place on your neck when you’re seated all day, staring down at a desk or at a computer, is significant. 

The average human head weighs 10-12 pounds, but for every inch it’s bent forward, there’s an additional load on your cervical spine. As a result, bending your head just 1-2 inches forward can double, if not triple, the pressure on your spine.

The pressure on your spine can cause premature wear in the vertebrae and discs in your cervical spine (neck), but it also strains the supporting tissues, namely the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support your neck.

So from muscle strain to degenerative disc disease in your neck, work can, indeed, become a real pain in your neck.

Getting relief from your neck pain

It’s important that you come to see at the first signs of a neck problem so we can provide you with much-needed relief and prevent the problem from getting worse.

Depending on what’s behind the pain, we can address the issue with one of many treatment options, including:

  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Interventional injections, such as epidural injections, radiofrequency ablations, or trigger point therapy
  • Medical acupuncture
  • Medications

Our goal is to provide a wide range of nonsurgical options, so there’s sure to be a combination that works best for relieving your neck pain.

Neck tech prevention tips

While we can do our part to relieve your neck pain, you need to do yours to relieve the pressure on your neck while you work. Some tips that improve neck health include:

  • Moving your computer up to eye height
  • Keeping both feet on the floor
  • Keeping your entire spine in a neutral position (no slouching)
  • Getting up and moving every 30-60 minutes

This last point is important for every area of your health. If you need to sit for hours on end, do your body a favor and move at least once an hour, even if it’s just for a minute or two.

If you’d like to learn more about your options for relieving neck pain, we invite you to schedule an appointment at one of our locations in Marlton, Hamilton Township, or East Brunswick, New Jersey.