How to Relieve Your Laptop Neck PainApril 24, 2015
Recently, I purchased a new laptop (my Christmas present!) that I use for work and home. I love the flexibility of a laptop; however this laptop led to a lot of pain and Advil for a couple weeks. I wanted to share with you my experience and more importantly – my solution!
I began using my new laptop all day at work; but by the end of the first week I started to have neck pain and headaches. By the 2nd week I started to have TMJ (jaw) pain. It took me a while to figure out why I was having these new pains. I tried blaming it on additional work I had that week or possibly my boys’ insistence on wrestling before bed. However, when I reminded myself that I should be able to figure this out – I quickly realized the one major change that occurred- my new laptop!!!
Laptops should not be used for extended periods of time. They are great for short bursts of work and the ability to be mobile, but working on a laptop for long periods of time will place your body in a very compromising position, leading to a host of problems.
Here is a picture of me on my laptop. You will note that a laptop will naturally cause you to go into a forward head and rounded shoulder posture. Extended time in this position can lead to injury & pain in the 6 areas noted in this photo:
I decided to apply what I teach my patients and create a workstation for my laptop. Creating a workstation will allow you to remain in a good posture so that you can work for several hours without problems. You also have the option to remove your laptop from the workstation and take it on the go!
If you use a laptop, I strongly recommend you invest in following items to improve your posture. I purchased a new monitor and placed it on 2 reams of paper to keep it elevated at eye level. I also purchased a wireless keyboard & mouse combo. I got these items in 1 trip to Costco! Pictures of all 3 are below.
Compare this picture of me using my laptop connected to my workstation with the one above. In this photo you will notice I am in an optimal postural position with my spine and shoulders aligned!
When I get to work I simply connect my laptop to the monitor and my mouse & keyboard. And when I go to a meeting, take it to a coffee shop or use it at home, I simply unplug and use it as a laptop.
So what happened to the pain? It took about 1 full day of using my laptop at this new workstation set up and all my pain resolved- and I was able to get more done!
Have you experienced pain from using your computer or other technology? Send me a message or comment below – I would love to help you find solutions like I found!
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