Did you know the way you sit at your desk and how your computer is setup at work can be causing neck pain and discomfort? In 2012, 216 million work days were lost with 70% of those days associated with a musculoskeletal condition. Of that 70% of missed days, 1/3 were lost due to neck and back pain. With a significant increase in the workforce since 2012, that number of missed work days due to neck and back pain continues to rise. Using an ergonomic workplace setup is one way to help prevent neck and back pain by placing muscles and joints in the correct position. Aside from helping with pain, an ergonomic setup can increase productivity. With an improper workplace setup, muscles imbalances occur that can lead to not only neck pain, but low back pain, hip pain and knee pain. When muscles are held in certain positions for long periods of time or used improperly over and over again, they can start to get aggravated and fatigued, which leads to your pain.
So the big question is: What does an ergonomic computer setup at work look like? Listed below are recommendations for an ergonomic computer work setup.
- The top of the computer should be level with the middle of your forehead
- The keyboard and mouse should be positioned so wrists are in a neutral position
- Forearms at 90 degrees and supported
- Head, shoulders and hips all in line
- Back straight and not slouching
- Hips and knees bent to 90 degrees
- Feet firmly flat on the ground or on a sturdy object
- A standing desk can also be used with the same keyboard and monitor setup.
Even with a good ergonomic set up at work, getting up and taking 30 seconds to 1 minute rest breaks every 20 minutes is necessary to help prevent pain and fatigue. Rest breaks should also be taken based on when you start to feel pain or stiffness.
At Professional Rehabilitation Services, we specialize in designing a specific program for each patient to ensure successful recovery. We are able to assist with ergonomic set up as well as treatment for acute and chronic neck pain. Treatment for this condition would likely include manual therapy involving dry needling, joint and soft tissue mobilizations to restore normal and pain free neck and trunk movement. As well as exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles aiding in dysfunction. No one should have to live with pain…if you are tired of dealing with aches and pains on a daily basis give us a call and see what we can do for you.
For further information on this or other related topics you can contact Lisa O'Brien, PT, DPT, Cert. DN (Murrells Inlet) (843) 314-3224, Richard DeFalco, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CWcHP (Myrtle Beach) (843) 839-1300, Brian P. Kinmartin PT, DPT, MTC, STC, OCS, CWcHP (Pawleys Island) (843) 235-0200, Richard A. Owens, MPT, OCS, Cert. SMT, CWcHP (Surfside) (843) 831-0163, Jill P. Phelan, PT, DPT, Cert. DN (Conway) (843) 773-3031, Karl Ehlers, PT, DPT, Cert. DN (Little River) (843) 281- 4222, Samantha Crisafulli PT, DPT (Carolina Forest) (843) 282-0440, Zach Daniels PT, DPT (Market Commons) (843) 213-6338 or visit our website at www.prsrehabservices.com where you can learn more about the company and even download a referral form for your physician to fill out. You can also call and schedule a free 15-minute consultation.