No matter how much you ignore it, how many pills you take, or massage/acupuncture/chiropractic appointments you make if your monitor height is contributing to your pain you’re only going to get temporary relief. Because every day you are unknowingly contributing to your pain. But don’t worry–I’ve got good news for you: It’s an easy cycle to break.
You need to aim your focus at eliminating the causes of your neck pain. And one of them is likely happening while you’re sitting at your desk.
The height of your computer screen is likely either causing you to put your neck in flexion (looking down) or extension (looking up) for hours and hours a day. The neck isn’t supposed to be in those positions for that many hours a day.
Many of my clients who make necessary changes to the height of their monitor get better faster. This is because they are eliminating one of the major causes of their neck pain.
Here’s what you need to do. If you’re sitting at your desk do this right now. If not do these three steps as soon as you return to your desk–don’t let the height of your monitor cause you pain a minute longer.
- Sit at your desk, how you normally sit and close your eyes.
- Open them and see where your eyes and therefore your neck are. Are you looking up at your screen, down at your screen, or are you facing straight ahead with your eyes parallel to the floor?
- You want to be looking straight ahead so your neck is in a neutral position. If you are either looking up or down adjust the height of your monitor, desk, or chair so you are looking straight ahead. If you aren’t able to adjust the height of your monitor put something underneath it to increase the height (stack of books, piece of wood–anything you’ve got handy. I had one client paint a piece of wood so it matched the decor of her office–whatever works for you!).
Take a look at these images. The first one is showing the head and neck in a neutral position. This is what you want to do. The second, is showing the head in flexion (looking down) and the third is showing extension (looking up).
And don’t forget to make adjustments at any desk you sit at. So if you just made changes to your desk at work, when you go home don’t forget to run through the same three steps there as well.
But I don’t work at desk! Not to worry–chances are you’re still putting your neck in an undesired position doing something else. Do you look down while you’re cooking? Check your neck position while you’re sitting when you’re reading, watching TV etc and make any needed adjustments.
What did you discover about your neck position? Leave a comment below saying what you found and if you needed to make any adjustments tell us what you did.
To your splendid pain-free life,