In8’s Approach to Neck Pain
One of the most common reasons people seek chiropractic care is neck pain. And this is something that we have had tremendous results in helping people with. As stated in one of my prior blog posts at any one time 10% of the world’s population is suffering with neck pain. I think over the past two years with COVID, as people are spending more time at home working from home this problem has gotten worse. We all went from nice ergonomic offices to our couches and kitchen tables for workspaces. So, what I want to address today is some of the things that you can do at home to help set up your workspace so that it is more “ergonomically correct” and what we do here at In8 Wellness Center that helps get our patients the best results faster.
Let us start with your workstation. Very few people have a traditional PC at home these days. But if you do have one it is easier to set up your station in a more ergonomically correct fashion so that you can relieve stress off your shoulders, arms and especially your neck. Ideally when we are looking at our monitor you want our eyes to be at about the center of the screen. That way you are never looking down too much or up too much. This can easily be achieved by putting books underneath your monitor stand or you can find very inexpensive options on Amazon or at Best Buy to attach to your monitor and to your workstation. We also want to think about our keyboard and our mouse and the position that our arms are in. The ideal height of your desk can be determined by the position of your arms when you are seated. If you are seated and your arms are at a 90 degree angle your forearms should rest comfortably on the desk. This will reduce stress on your wrists, forearms, and shoulders. If you do not have a PC and are working from a laptop the best thing I can recommend is purchasing a wireless keyboard and mouse so that you can prop your monitor screen up so that again you are looking at the center of that screen with your eyes and your arms can rest comfortably on your workstation. Again, they do sell special stands for laptops, but you can also just use anything you have around the house like books.
The approach we take in our office to neck pain is threefold. First we want to get a detailed history so we can find out the types of movements or positions that aggravate your neck pain the timing of your neck pain and what it feels like. X rays can be helpful to determine any degenerative changes or positional changes of your spine. Once we have a clear idea of what is causing your neck pain we can come up with a plan of attack. First, your chiropractic adjustments. The goals with the adjustment are not only two correct positional faults in your spine but also to help put a quick stretch into the muscles, ligaments, and tendons so that they can relax. Many people think that it is the noise that we are all after with the adjustment, but it is that quick stretch into the joints that helps to get motion and helps those tissues to relax. Then we want to address any muscle weakness or activation issues. In our office we typically use crossover symmetry to help us build up the supporting muscles in your upper back and neck. These exercises also help to improve the communication between your brain and these postural muscles so that they can work more effectively. Next we can prescribe a soft tissue regime that can focus on stretching and soft tissue mobilization. With stretching we want to focus on the muscles on the front, side and back of the neck. Below are some examples of stretches that I like. Whenever I am stretching a muscle I follow the same protocol I will get into the stretch position and hold that for 15 seconds and then contract the muscle that I am stretching for one to two seconds. I will repeat that three times getting into a deeper stretch each time.
We will also prescribe soft tissue release techniques using a tool like an Acumobility ball. All these techniques can be reviewed during a consult time and as patients in our office there is no additional cost for this.
If you ever want to set up a console please talk to myself, Dr. Ryan, Elise or Kate and they will be more than happy to help you get those time set up.
See you in the office!