It is often important to look at the workplace ergonomics as part of treatment and prevention of neck pain. Perhaps the placement of the desk, computer workstation and/or placement of the computer monitor and keyboard can be improved to encourage improved upper back and neck posture.
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When sitting erect at a desk and looking straight ahead:
- Eyes should point directly at the top third of the screen.
- Forearms should be approximately parallel with the floor when typing.
- Elbows should be at the side.
- Feet should be flat on the floor with the thighs parallel with the floor.
If patients have a standing work station or perform other sorts of sitting or driving tasks, make sure that one side of the body is not constantly rotated more than the other side, and that there is as much symmetry in repetitive tasks as possible.
Persistent movements to one side or constant rotation of the neck and back to the same side can often aggravate joints and soft tissues causing neck and back pain. Some patients can develop poor posture of the head, neck, and shoulders through repetitive work tasks and/or poor sitting habits.
There are stretches and exercises that are effective at helping restore good posture, thereby taking pressure off the neck and relieving pain.