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Old 11-20-2008, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 14,605,230 times
Reputation: 4457

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I spend around 10-15 hours per day on a computer because of my job. I have this near constant neck pain that seems to be getting worse with the passening weeks. There is absolutely nothing I can do to lower my computer usage. I can deal with it, but I would really love if there was a way I could be back to normal. I've had the pain for about 3 months now. I think a good vacation might do me good, but I won't be able to take one for at least another year.

Anybody have any ideas on how else to get rid of this neck pain?
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Eastern Kentucky
1,237 posts, read 2,641,843 times
Reputation: 1262
Can you adjust the chair or computer height? How about a different (better) chair? Can you go to a specalist for workplace injuries? A chiropractor? You say that it is getting worse and you do not want to let it get so bad that you cannot function. You also want medical evidence in case it DOES get that bad. Also, check into getting into a good yoga class. The stretching may be enough to control the pain.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:27 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 14,605,230 times
Reputation: 4457
Quote:
Originally Posted by masonsdaughter View Post
Can you adjust the chair or computer height? How about a different (better) chair? Can you go to a specalist for workplace injuries? A chiropractor? You say that it is getting worse and you do not want to let it get so bad that you cannot function. You also want medical evidence in case it DOES get that bad. Also, check into getting into a good yoga class. The stretching may be enough to control the pain.
Unfortunately they make us use a cheap $15 chair because they want them all to match. I offered to buy my own but they wont let me.

I have been to the medical doctor and had x-rays, and he told me the bones are fine and aligned correctly. Its a purely muscular problem.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:18 AM
 
87 posts, read 322,960 times
Reputation: 43
Ask your doctor to refer you for physical therapy. I had to do a stint last year of about 3 months, but it was completely worth it. The therapist explained that holding ones arms/neck at the same angle for so much of the time makes other muscles weak, which then in turn just puts greater strain on the ones that are used.

I was given simple exercises to increase range of motion and strength in my back/shoulder muscles, in addition to having some massage therapy. All much better than lots of drugs and/or surgery.

ETA - is your workplace large enough to have an ergonomic specialist? Sometimes, businesses will spend the $ to evaluate your setup to head off paying w/c claims.
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Old 11-22-2008, 06:41 AM
 
Location: NJ
9,182 posts, read 20,215,476 times
Reputation: 6261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salgal1113 View Post
Ask your doctor to refer you for physical therapy. I had to do a stint last year of about 3 months, but it was completely worth it. The therapist explained that holding ones arms/neck at the same angle for so much of the time makes other muscles weak, which then in turn just puts greater strain on the ones that are used.

I was given simple exercises to increase range of motion and strength in my back/shoulder muscles, in addition to having some massage therapy. All much better than lots of drugs and/or surgery.

ETA - is your workplace large enough to have an ergonomic specialist? Sometimes, businesses will spend the $ to evaluate your setup to head off paying w/c claims.
I agree. Normally I'm not a fan of physical therapy but for something like this, yes it should work.

My hubby was having shoulder pain, he had a decent PT that said it was the muscles not being strong enough and did strengthening. I would try it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bchris02 View Post
Unfortunately they make us use a cheap $15 chair because they want them all to match. I offered to buy my own but they wont let me.

I have been to the medical doctor and had x-rays, and he told me the bones are fine and aligned correctly. Its a purely muscular problem.
Is anyone else having problems?
It ticks me off when I go to an office and see cheap chairs.
Do they really expect the staff to sit in those all day?
You then go into the offices or walk by them, the doctors or office managers have better chairs. Hmm, wonder why?

You might have strength in numbers. If other speak up, maybe they'll do something about it.

I'd see if you can find something online that links crummy chairs with health issues.
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:15 PM
 
10,612 posts, read 20,745,224 times
Reputation: 8155
You might be ok dealing with the cheap chair. It could be other things to blame such as the height of the computer monitor, where your mouse is placed and how you are sitting in the chair. Could you have someone take some digital photos of you while you are working on the computer and then compare them with some diagrams or photos of correct ergonomic positioning.

You could start with the poster on this site MIT IS&T ATIC : RSI Prevention

I think what you want to google if you are looking for info is "repetitive strain injury" .

T'ai chi and feldenkrais are two really good ways of treating this. T'ai chi (you could also try chi gung) is a flowing kind of martial art. Feldenkrais is self-awareness training that is used to treat all kinds of injuries.

If money is a concern such that you cannot join a class or go to a professional, you can get yourself a DVD for the t'ai chi and you can purchase feldenkrais CDs as well.

Also, there is a very good book by Sharon Butler (has Repetitive Strain Injury in the title) that has some good stretches -- a few of which you might be able to do in the bathroom at work if you have no other option.

IMHO, your workplace should be more aware of this issue, as they can end up with a costly workers comp case on their hands.
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 19,651,108 times
Reputation: 31734
Bring your own chair to work. I did that and it makes such a difference. It doesn't matter that you should not have to do that. Your manager should also be able to approve that purchase. Then, a good chiropractor (hopefully covered under your medical insurance) and a massage. Good massage therapists can really work the neck muscles.
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:37 PM
 
Location: a primitive state
9,538 posts, read 19,413,969 times
Reputation: 11442
OSHA will come to your rescue. Give this to your boss. OSHA Ergonomic Solutions: Computer Workstations eTool
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,500 posts, read 19,516,824 times
Reputation: 4209
You need a decent chair. If you tell them you have back/neck pain, they'll have to get you a new one.

The best chair is the Herman Miller Eames Aluminum Group chair.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:02 AM
 
Location: NJ
9,182 posts, read 20,215,476 times
Reputation: 6261
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellie View Post
OSHA will come to your rescue. Give this to your boss. OSHA Ergonomic Solutions: Computer Workstations eTool
Nice site.

MSD Signs and Symptoms
Quote:
MSD Signs and Symptoms
* Numbness or a burning sensation in the hand
* Reduced grip strength in the hand
* Swelling or stiffness in the joints
* Pain in wrists, forearms, elbows, neck, or back
* Reduced range of motion in the shoulder, neck, or back
* Dry, itchy, or sore eyes
* Blurred or double vision
* Aching or tingling
* Cramping
* Weakness
U.S. Department of Labor - Computer work stations additional info
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