In an average workweek, research shows, people spend an average of 5 hours, 41 minutes sitting at a desk daily. If you relate to this, you should know that your sitting posture can impact your health and well-being, possibly leading to neck pain and related issues.
If you’re experiencing neck pain, contact Pro Rehab to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Sheehan. Read on to learn how your posture can cause or worsen such pain, plus tips for turning things around.
Hyperextension and hyperflexion
When you’re slumped over at your desk, your upper spine hyperextends while your brain works to keep your head up and looking at your computer. Meanwhile, your lower spine hyperflexes as the vertebrae in your spine tilt forward. This combination of events lengthens the distance between the spinal canal and the base of your skull, potentially causing your spinal cord and surrounding nerve roots to stretch.
Hunched upper back
When your back is hunched toward your desk or computer, the forward head posture that results is probably accompanied with a rounded upper back and overly forward-positioned shoulders. This curvature can fuel pain in your shoulders, neck, and upper back area.
When you’re sitting at the office with poor posture for extended time periods, muscles in your upper back and neck have to overwork continually to offset the gravitational pull caused by your head being poised forward. This raises your risk for muscle spasms and strains, which can be quite painful.
Stress on your cervical spine
When your head is positioned forward instead of over your neck, your cervical spine has to support more weight. For every inch that your head is braced forward in poor posture, an estimated 10 added pounds of weight is felt on your cervical spine. If your head is average weight, or 10-12 pounds, and sits merely an inch or two forward, the heft on your spine can be doubled or tripled.
Managing neck pain
If you’re experiencing significant or lasting neck pain due to poor posture, consider a visit to Dr. Sheehan at Pro Rehab. He can help you address ongoing pain and guide you toward better habits.
To prevent neck pain to begin with or keep the symptoms from flaring up, aim for a neutral, upright spine position that’s not flexed too far backward or forward. Doing so can bring a range of benefits, including:
- Minimized neck pain, back pain, and fatigue
- Improved bowel function
- Improved digestion
- Less chance of heartburn
- Less urinary incontinence
- Improved standing posture
Learn more by contacting our office or booking a consultation online with Dr. James Sheehan at Pro Rehab.