If you're an at-home content writer who experiences chronic neck pain that doesn't go away even when you take OTC pain medication, you may wonder if there's anything you might do to ease your discomfort. Neck pain can be a troublesome and painful problem for many people who work on computers, especially if they work for long periods of time. One of the reasons for your neck pain is muscle strain. Muscle strain can make your neck feel stiff, sore and painful over time. Here's why you may have neck pain from muscle strain and what you can do to improve it.
How Can You Strain Your Neck's Muscles?
Neck pain can affect a number of tissues in your neck, including the nerves, bones and muscles that support the neck. Each tissue provides a unique function that allows you to move your head. For example, your neck muscles allow your head to move back and forth or side to side. Your neck's muscles also help you breathe properly and keep your head upright. Placing stress on any of the muscles in your neck may lead to inflammation that interferes with your body's functions.
One of the problems from sitting at a computer desk or leaning over a laptop for prolonged periods of time is poor posture. If the muscles of your neck tire out, they may force your head to fall forward. The forward motion of your head places strain on the neck muscles, which often leads to pain and muscle weakness.
In addition, your body may not receive the oxygen it needs to help your muscles work properly when you use poor posture. The muscles in your neck work with the tissues in your ribs to help your diaphragm contract, or get small enough, to allow your lungs room to expand. If you strain the muscles of your neck, your rib cage may not have enough support or strength to help the diaphragm contract properly. The more you slump over or slouch, the less oxygen your body receives.
Keep in mind that the actions above force the muscles of your neck and many other muscles to work harder than they should to stabilize and protect your body. Relaxing the muscles in your neck, shoulders and back may help prevent your pain.
What Can You Do to Ease Your Pain When You Write?
One of the things you might do when you write is take short breaks during shifts. The breaks may give your neck and body a chance to recuperate from the strain placed on them when you sit at your computer. For example, you may work for two hours, then take a 15-30 minute break to stretch your legs, such as walk around the home or block. You can decide on what you can do on your breaks and for how long.
Also, you may want to exercise or do deep breathing exercises before you begin work. Exercise may help remove any tension you develop in your neck and body muscles and improve your breathing. You may use better posture if you feel relaxed and comfortable in your chair.
If possible, install a timing app on your computer that alerts you when it's time to take breaks or exercise. You can set the timer to go off at the same times each day to keep you on track. Eventually, you may stop using the timer as your body becomes used to taking breaks.
If none of the tips above help your neck pain go away, see a pain management doctor, such as those at Southwest Florida Neurosurgical Associates, for assistance. Sometimes, neck pain may indicate that you have a bad back or problems in your hips that require treatment.
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