Cervical Pain: Postures To The Computer
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Cervical Pain: Postures To The Computer

Since a few months that administrative work I have cervical pain. Can it be by the computer? What I can do?

Cervical pain can often be due to poor posture on the computer. A normal working day lasts from 7 to 9 hours, many of which are spent in front of a computer. There are certain habits that we have in front of the computer that imply to maintain an excessive muscular contraction in the muscles of the neck. It would not be excessive for a particular movement but it is excessive to maintain this contraction for hours. In short, most of the neck pain that we inflict on the computer initially are muscle overloads and may end up in the long term in chronic joint injuries.

Cervical Pain: Postures To The ComputerSo what do we do wrong? The truth is that it is very rare to find someone who does well. I live day by day surrounded by sanitary personnel; it is surprising to see how badly we stand in front of the computer. And the excesses end up paying.

To simplify to the maximum and not to bore with less relevant details, I will speak of the three fundamental points and that very often they are not fulfilled.

1º – The computer must be in front of us. It seems obvious but a lot of people have it aside and have to write with the neck turned. The most frequent reasons are that they cater to the public and the screen bothers them that the table has been designed in curve and so it is placed and, worst of all, to arrive well the cable I have on one side. There is no valid excuse if we want to stop suffering cervical pain.

2º – The upper edge of the screen should not be above eye level. Looking up is bad for the neck, even if it is little!! This happens for a reason a little long to explain of which I will give some brushstrokes in the next post. For the moment stay with the concept, looking forward or slightly down (without forcing) is the right and healthy.

3rd – The elbows should be close to the body and the forearms well supported when we write or handle the mouse. This is one of the fundamental points that is rarely fulfilled. To be able to do it correctly, it is best to have a chair with adjustable armrests. In this way we can support the forearm, have the elbow near the trunk and be at a suitable distance to the keyboard and mouse.

 The typical posture handling the mouse is the one of the arm more and more stretched and forwards separating widely the elbow of the body. Well, this position forces the trapezoid (the largest muscle we have in the neck and that reaches the shoulders) to be contracted. If we maintain this position for a long time the muscle undergoes an overload and cervical pain will arrive. It happens the same if they give us a 3kg stone and we carry it in our hand all day. We do not do this because we realize right away that it is not a good idea, but the stance is not so obvious

  If we look at the next photo, we have a gentleman with a wonderful chair but he is making the most frequent mistake we have commented on. His elbow is severed from his body. The gentleman has an adjustable armrest and should adjust it to have the forearm supported and not to stretch the arm forward. No doubt ends up with neck pain. If we analyze more the photo could also comment that the table is not appropriate to work properly with a computer but that will speak in future posts.

In the other photo (at the beginning of the post), instead, we have a drawing with the basic postures suitable to work the computer. I invite you to reread the three fundamental points of which we have spoken by looking at the drawing.

Fulfilling these three things is easy and believe me, the change for the neck is abysmal. Working years and years to the computer with forced postures leads to wear of the joints and discs of the cervical vertebrae provoking causing chronic, more difficult to treat cervical pain. It is highly recommended to change our insane habits as soon as possible. I hope it helps you.

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