Neck Pain & Workstation Pain and Posture

Dr. Beverley Steinhoff, DC, Chiropractor, discusses neck and workstation pain.

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Dr. Beverley Steinhoff, DC, Chiropractor, discusses neck and workstation pain.
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Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Beverley Steinhoff, DC

Duration: 3 minutes, 41 seconds

Sitting actually puts stress on our hips, it puts stress on our lower backs, it puts stress on our neck, and it’s basically created by being in a seated posture working at a computer without moving around very much. 

One of the main things that causes neck pain, neck burning, headaches, migraines, is being in a seated posture at your computer for too long at a time. One of the primary important things to do is to make sure that your workstation is set up properly. That means that it’s at the right height for you, that your wrists are at the right level for you, and that your computer screen is at the right level for you.

If you’re uncertain as to what those levels are, you can have an occupational ergonomic assessment done at your workplace or you can visit your chiropractor. The worker must also be able to change their mousing hands if possible. Maybe work Monday, Wednesday, Friday on one hand; Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday on the other hand. 

But one of the key things to stop a lot of the adhesive and buildup in your neck and shoulder musculature is to have micro-breaks – to get up every 30 to 40 minutes, move around, circulate the blood through your shoulders and into your neck. And make sure that you’re stretching your hip flexers, as well as your upper torso.

Work-related injuries can manifest in various ways. A lot of people experience burning or tingling in their shoulders. It can be a stiff neck; it can manifest as a headache or migraines.  When pain starts to move down into your wrist or any numbness or tingling in your wrist, that’s when it becomes very serious. 

So when they visit the chiropractor, we really do want to ensure through a proper history taking and a proper examination that it is from work-place stress. By doing so, we can then properly treat the condition.

The treatment of work-related or ergonomic stresses is usually a combination of spinal manipulative therapy or adjustments combined with soft tissue techniques, such as myofascial release technique, active release technique. 

In extreme cases or acute cases, we may use laser therapy. The referral to massage therapy in this situation is very common. Massage therapy is very effective in treating the musculature of ergonomic strain as well.

Working with workers and ergonomic strain is really a partnership. The patient really needs to look and correct their workstation. They need to set habitual reminders for getting up and taking breaks, whether it be an alarm on a computer or a sticky or a reminder. 

The chiropractor will also give stretches and strengthening exercises to stabilize the areas that are taxed at the workstation. And really, it’s a partnership. You’re out eight hours every day – there’s a lot of strain. You really do have to work at keeping yourself out of pain.

If somebody has work related pain or they have symptoms from being at a computer all day long, one of the best people to see in terms of diagnosis is your registered massage therapist or your chiropractor.   

Presenter: Dr. Beverley Steinhoff, Chiropractor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Chiropractor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.