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Computer Fatigue, Neck Pain, Headaches: How to treat

As we are encountering more time at our desk, tension builds up in our body.  As a result, we are unknowingly creating structural and functional imbalances in the body.  What starts off as mild neck pain can quickly become chronic if left untreated. Longstanding pain can progressively become debilitating.  This is typically when most people seek help; pain that is constant and you don’t know what to do with it.  Our initial thought is, “I need to exercise and start stretching”, or “I need to eat better.” Good intentions here can certainly be better for our health, but ultimately, we need to understand the root cause the underlying issue.

As neck pain becomes more progressive, it translates into headaches, arm pain, numbness with tingling and weakness.  The pain can easily disrupt daily activities like getting a good night’s rest, staying productive at work, and this will result in spending more time on the couch, playing with our kids or grandkids less, and ultimately not living life the way we want to!


What Causes Neck Pain?

Prolonged physical stress can trigger the onset of neck pain.  Typical causes include:

  • Postural stress with head flexion from prolonged computer/tablet/phone use (looking down at the screen)
  • Poor slouched posture which creates muscle spasms and joint irritation (less than optimal posture whether we are sitting or standing)
  • Poor sleeping posture: if we sleep on our stomach with our head rotated to one side for an extended period
  • Car accidents/ injuries/ slips and falls/ sports injuries
  • Carrying heavy objects such as purses or bags frequently
  • Wear and tear on the body: degenerative disorders that create osteoarthritis can lead to pinched nerves and disc issues throughout the spine, furthering pain


Computer Fatigue and Upper Cross Syndrome

You have more than 20 muscles in the neck that extend from the base of your skull and jaw down into your shoulder blades and collar bone.  Stress due to improper posture creates a progressive condition where one muscle will become weak and other muscle groups must take on the job to make up for the weakness.  Over time, this weakness creates an imbalance resulting in neck pain, headaches as well as a loss in the normal range of motion in the upper body (everything begins to feel stiff).

Upper cross syndrome has a very distinct posture: rounded shoulders, small hunch, and the head/neck start to move forward, stressing the back of the skull.  The spine’s curvature becomes noticeable around the neck and upper back area. Most people notice the “pronounced bump” at the base of their neck.  Upper cross syndrome results in neck and soreness between the shoulders but can extend into lower back pain.

Upper Cross Syndrome

Upper Cross Syndrome

What To Do When You Have Neck Pain?

  1. Use Ice: Ice helps reduce inflammation
  2. Gentle Exercises: Stretching as well as yoga can be very effective to help get blood flow into these areas.  A chiropractic physician can help you understand which exercises can help create balance in the areas that are misaligned. If you’re looking for exercises, contact our office to get a consultation and seek Chiropractic Help


Chiropractic Care: When to seek help 

Persistent neck pain sufferers utilize health care twice as frequently as the remainder of the population.  Musculoskeletal complains such as pain in the neck and back pain are not properly managed by medical providers because there is a lapse in education by primary care doctors on how to address and treat pain related to the muscles, joints, and spine.  Instead, most medical providers suggest ice, NSAIDS, and rest.  This is where Chiropractic can help!

Chiropractors are primary health care providers who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of spinal conditions, including the treatment of neck pain.  Chiropractors commonly treat headaches, neck pain, back pain and other symptoms stemming from spinal problems without the use of drugs. The sooner your see a chiropractor after the onset of neck pain, the effective the treatment will be.  Before beginning treatment, a thorough examination including advanced diagnostic testing is done to find the specific cause to the problem.


What is a chiropractic neck adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is used to restore proper joint motion and alignment in the neck area (cervical spine).  A chiropractic neck adjustment will often relieve pain, reduce tension in the neck muscles, treat headaches and improve posture.  Benefits include reduced inflammation, muscle spasms, and discomfort in the neck.  Adjustments can be gentle and effective. By correcting the misalignment you’ll be on your way to taking care of the problem.  The more time you’ve had the problem, the more progressive it can be. So, taking action early will make a huge difference. Your chiropractor will also prescribe exercises to prevent and treat the causes of your pain.


How to get started:

Book a consultation with Dr. Karen West! Dr. West will help you assess and address your aches, pains, and healthcare goals. Dr. West will help create a personalized treatment plan to get you feeling your best! If you have questions please contact West Health Spa to learn more about our chiropractic treatment services at 352-331-3649.


To learn more, schedule a Functional Medicine Consultation on the West Health Spa app or call one of our Spa Associates at 352-331-3649.  

Book your chiropractic consultation here


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