October 5, 2016

Neck Pain While Sitting at a Computer

Do you spend a lot of time sitting at a computer? Do you have neck or upper back pain? Most likely poor seated posture is to blame.
  • Annie Hahn photo
    Annie Hahn

    Annie is a physical therapist and the owner at Restorations Physical Therapy.

Woman sitting at desk with hand on mouse using computer.

Do you find yourself rubbing your neck to decrease pain and stiffness while sitting at the computer? Poor seated posture is probably the cause of your symptoms causing undue stress on your neck.

There are various muscles in and surrounding your neck that are being stressed and thus "tightening up" with extended periods of sitting. If the alignment of the head and neck are not in the optimal position, the neck is predisposed to injury. This position is referred to as "forward head and rounded shoulder posture" and is a very common condition that contributes to neck and upper back pain.

With this poor positioning, undue stress is put on your cervical vertebrae which contributes to muscle and nerve involvement. You may experience symptoms in your neck, down either arm, or along your shoulder blades. These symptoms can range from pain to stiffness and even numbness and tingling. The forward position of your shoulders and rounded upper back further exacerbates these symptoms.

Physical therapy can help. A PT can assess your condition and treat the root of the symptoms by improving cervical and thoracic motion which will in turn decrease your symptoms. Specific strengthening exercises will also help improve the alignment of your spine and reduce pain. They can also evaluate your seated posture and change the position of your neck and arms and also give you tips to move the monitor and keyboard to the optimal position.

So what are you waiting for? Stop rubbing your neck while you are at the computer and schedule an appointment at Restorations Physical Therapy where one of our licensed PT's will assess the problem and change it for good!