How the Posture of Your Head and Shoulders May Be Contributing to Your Neck Pain

10 April 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Did you know that the neck pain you are currently experiencing may be to do with the way that you sit at your office desk on a day-to-day basis? In particular, the posture of your head and shoulders is very important, as poor positions can lead to a number of degenerative neck issues.

Strain on the Vertebrae

The most common poor posture situation arises when the neck is effectively slanting forwards, so that the head is in front of, instead of above the shoulders. When this happens a lot of stress is placed on the vertebrae in the lower neck. Also, the muscles of the upper back are under constant strain as they try to counter the effects of gravity at work. This type of posture will result in a rounded upper back and this can in turn result in shoulder pain.

When your body is subjected to this type of posture over the long term parts of your vertebrae, specifically the lower cervical C5 and C6, can "shear" in relation to each other's position. This is often the cause of pain in the lower part of the neck.

Long-Term Damage Potential

As time goes on additional damage is caused to the facet joints in the neck area, as well as the surrounding soft tissues and ligaments. The irritation and pain will spread into the shoulder blades and upper back. It's also possible that the situation will degenerate so far that other and more serious conditions, such as cervical osteoarthritis, can result.

Who Is Most at Risk?

Office workers are most at risk of developing this type of neck pain due to the way that they sit, all day every day. This is why it's important to focus on workplace ergonomics. Specifically, you should look at the way that the desk is set up in relation to the seating position, how the computer is configured as a workstation and most importantly, where the computer monitor and keyboard are positioned.

What Can Be Done?

Above all else, make sure that when seated your eyes are level with the top third of the monitor. Your feet should always be placed flat on the floor, with the back comfortably against the back of the chair and your posterior well back into the seat. Make sure you can reach the keyboard without stretching and that your forearms are parallel to the floor when typing. Elbows should be in, and to the side.

When you concentrate on this type of seating position as well as proper ergonomic configuration in the workplace, the posture of your head and neck should be correct. If you're still sore, however, consider going to visit a chiropractor, such as Coogee Chiropractic.