Do you feel stiff, creaky and achy by the end of the workday? Sitting most of the day is detrimental to your health, I find myself, probably like many of you, spending way too much time in front of my computer. Sitting is so prevalent and so pervasive that we don’t even question how much we’re doing it. And, everyone else is doing it also, so it doesn’t even occur to us that it’s not okay. In that way, I’ve come to see that sitting is the smoking of our generation.

Sure sitting for brief periods can help us recover from stress or recurpate from exercise but our bodies simply aren’t built for such a sedentary existence. The human body is build to move and you can see evidence of this in a way its structured with around 360 joints and over 700 skeletal muscles that enable easy fluid motion and enables us to stand straight against the pull of gravity

What happens when you just don’t move?

Lets start with the backbone of the problem literally, Our Spine !

A common way of sitting is with a curved back and slumped shoulders a position that puts undue pressure on the spine overtime it causes wear and tear of the spine. The average human head weighs almost 12 pounds— the equivalent of a bowling ball! When your neck is bent to 45 degrees, your head exerts nearly 50 pounds of force on your neck. In addition to straining joints and muscles in your neck and shoulders, the pressure affects your breathing and mood. Staying in one position all day can also lead to fatigue as the muscles are actively trying to hold your spine in place.

What are basic signs and symptoms?

  • Neck pain and stiffness which is usually on and off at first but becomes more continuous as the condition is left untreated.
  • Tenderness or trigger points which results in pain around the neck, upper back and between the shoulder blades.
  • Muscle tightness and spasm.
  • Tension Headache because of spasm in trapezius muscle and short neck extensors.
  • Decreased range of movement of your neck.
  • Pain get worse after prolong sitting such as working on computer, watching television, reading novel or driving.
  • If you develop disc issues because of the negligence the pain can even radiate down your shoulders, arms or forearms!


How is the Diagnosis done by Doctor?

  • Neck pain can be diagnosed by physical examination. Various tests will be performed to check and evaluate the Movement, ROM, Tenderness, Muscle strength, Trigger point, Muscle stiffness, Muscular Imbalances. This will help in diagnosing the underlying cause of neck pain.
  • X-ray examination is really helpful in detecting degenerative changes in the spine, bone alignment issues and fractures. 
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a to detect disc related issue or soft tissue injuries.

How can I get rid of Neck pain?

Our experts at Orthocure Healthcare gives you few tips for reducing neck strain at the office:

  1. Maintain good posture –Ask a colleague to take a picture of you at your workstation and check to see if it supports well-aligned posture (eyes looking straight, neck not bent, forearms parallel to the floor, low back in its natural curve). 
  2. Workplace modification- Adjust your desk, chair, computer, documents etc. Refer to article on workplace modifications.
  3. Avoid carrying heavy weights with straps over your shoulders – to avoid any undue pressure on neck which tense your muscles more.
  4. Sleep in good position- so that your spine is aligned. Refer to article on sleeping posture guide.
  5. Regular exercise- Learn a stretching routine that you can use in the office when you feel your muscles starting to tighten up. There are plenty of simple stretches that you can do in business clothes. Refer to article of general office exercises.
  6. Active lifestyle- Be active body loves movement. Do some form of yoga, morning walk, simple exercises etc and incorporate it in your daily routine.
  7. In case you find swelling and increase warmth of your muscles around neck do take cold packs and in case you feel stiffness with no such signs do stick to hot packs twice daily for atleast 15 days on regular basis.
  8. Do apply any pain relieving gel after hot/cold packs to maximize the effects of the treatment.