PREVENT PAIN AT WORK
Q: I have begun to experience neck pain and headaches that I think are happening from my work station. Could this be the cause and do you have any suggestions to help?
A: Like many people, you are probably experiencing neck pain that relates to your work situation. Specialists in ergonomics have found that over 50 percent of people say they have experienced discomfort from their jobs. Picking up heavy boxes or repetitive neck motion on the job could cause this problem. There are a number of other work situations that will lead to neck pains and sore muscles. To improve your work situation, keep in mind the following points:
• Do not rely on a desk or stool that was set for a previous worker or for a standard situation. Position the chair and table at the right height for you.
• Place paperwork or equipment at eye level so you do not have to continually look up or down at sharp angles or turn your head back and forth.
• If you have to spend long periods of time on the phone, use a headset; don’t cradle the phone between your ear and shoulder.
• When sitting at your computer for long stretches, sit in the classic position with your neck, thigh, elbows and legs at right angles and your feet planted solidly on the floor. Adjust the chair so it supports the natural S-shape of your spine. At a properly positioned work surface, terminal keyboard or typewriter, the keys should be at elbow height when you drop your arms to your side while sitting.
• Get up from your workstation regularly, stretch, walk around and focus your eyes on a distant object.
If you get neck aches, contact your doctor of chiropractic. While it may seem quicker to use pain medicines, your chiropractor can find the cause of your discomfort and prevent a probable recurrence while teaching you ways to avoid chronic pain.
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"Dr. Trembush’ office and providers volunteer community health talks free to the public of the Morgantown area on the following topics and dates. Each speaker is a representative of The Foundation for Wellness Professionals. We can also be reached at 304.225.9355 for questions regarding this community health service if your organization is interested in Wellness Speakers."