Technology – a pain in the neck!


In the past, workers typically complained of low back pain related to physical lifting. With new restrictions to how much weight a worker can lift, and the advances in technology to help reduce load, it seemed reasonable for employers to see less days taken off work and less trips to the Doctor or Physio.

Unfortunately, while Physio’s may be seeing less lifting related low back injuries, there has been a shift in complaints to neck and shoulder pain.

In an era where a child is almost born with technology in their hand, my 12 year old niece knows more about Instagram than me, and employees are expected to check emails and work outside of typical hours, it seems unlikely that we will be moving away from this “online” culture.

Living on our Smartphones, Tablets and Laptops, means we are spending extended periods with our neck in a flexed position. No wonder I spend most of my day working on tight shoulders, relieving headaches and seemingly giving the same advice over and over again…

So here are My Top 3 Tips that can make a difference:

1. Stop using your Laptop in bed!!!
No matter how okay you think your bed set up is, I can assure you, it is NOT. Your thoracic spine (upper back) is forced into a rounded position, which in turn forces your neck into forward head posture. This is a major cause of headaches and rounded shoulders.

2. Set an alarm.
Time flies when you are engulfed in work (or more likely YouTube), so set a timer on your computer for every 30minutes that reminds you to take a quick break. In an ideal world, I recommend to walk away from the computer for 2 minutes. However I am a realist, and standing up and doing 10 shoulder rolls to remind you to realign your spine and posture is better than nothing.

3. Shift your screen.
Adjust your monitor so your eyes are level with the top of your screen. If you use a Laptop, get a separate keyboard and raise your laptop up on top of a book like the yellow pages.

While prevention is always better than cure, if you are symptoms neck and shoulder tightness or headaches, make sure to see your trusted healthcare provider for treatment and advice.