Protecting the neck vertebrae at work
The cervical spine (neck) can be prone to developing spine conditions, like a pinched nerve, especially if you are not practicing good posture. Long hours spent hunched over a computer keyboard every day at work can wreak havoc on the health of your neck vertebrae. Even if you are one of the millions of employees whose jobs require sitting for long hours at a workstation, there are steps described below that can help you protect the cervical vertebrae from developing a potentially painful spine condition.
Loosen up your neck muscles
The neck vertebrae are among the most flexible within the spine. This flexibility allows for a wide range of head movement, but it also places stress on the discs in the neck — especially when the cervical vertebrae are pressing against the discs from hours of poor posture. This can happen when you become occupied by a project at work and you begin feeling pain at the base of the neck after a few hours spent staring at the computer screen.
Here are a few ideas to help keep the neck muscles loose and relaxed and vertebrae correctly aligned at work:
- Take minibreaks by standing up from your desk and moving around for a minute or two at least once an hour
- Use a hands-free phone by asking for a headset to use with your phone, rather than bending your neck to hold the handset against your shoulder
- Sit in a comfortable chair that has adequate support for your neck and lower back
- Practice proper posture by not hunching over the computer keyboard, and holding the spine and head straight, but not in a stiff way
- Exercise between minibreaks by turning your head back and forth, stretching your arms above your head and shrugging your shoulders to keep the neck muscles from becoming tight
When pain persists in the neck vertebrae
If the neck pain you feel at work and elsewhere turns out to be more than momentary muscle tightness, visit your doctor to talk about the possible cause of your pain. He or she can perform a physical examination or order imaging tests to determine if you have a spine condition. While many patients can find pain relief from spine conditions through pain medication and physical therapy, as well as other conservative treatments, some doctors may recommend spine surgery if the symptoms are worsening.
At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive cervical decompression and stabilization procedures that remove pressure from the pinched nerve without disrupting the muscles surrounding the spine. This allows our patients to have a shorter recovery time as well as a safer and effective to traditional open neck surgery.^ For more information about how our minimally invasive cervical spine surgery can help treat your neck pain, contact Laser Spine Institute today.
The board-certified+ surgeons at our state-of-the-art facilities use small incisions that are muscle sparing to ease chronic neck pain and get patients back to the activities they have been missing out on. To learn more about our outpatient surgery and find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, reach out to our team today and ask for a free MRI review.* We can help guide you on your journey to wellness.