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Neck pain is a common reason why days are missed from work and workers’ compensation claims are filed. It’s something that can develop a result of a wide range of work-related tasks, including ones involving routine office work or repetitious neck and shoulder movements. You may be able to file a workers’ comp claim if you experience serious neck pain on the job and get some help from an attorney if you have difficulties with this process.
However, keep in mind that there are some sensible precautions you can take to avoid neck-related injuries in the first place.
Have Your Vision Checked
This may seem like an odd step to take, but if you find yourself leaning forward more often just to see your computer screen, a vision test may be what you need. While it may not seem like a big deal, regularly leaning forward to see your screen as you type can place extra pressure on your neck-supporting muscles, which could lead to upper back and shoulder tension or a stiff and sore neck.
Properly Position Your Monitor and Keyboard
Your monitor and keyboard setup at work can also be a source of neck pain. If possible, place your monitor and keyboard in a position that keeps you from constantly twisting or turning your neck. Also, be mindful of your monitor height. If your monitor is too high, you could experience a shoulder sprain or strain that also affects the same soft tissues that provide indirect support to your neck and upper spine.
Take Mini-Breaks Throughout Your Day
You might be limited with how many full breaks you can actually take at work. But what you can do is take shorter mini-breaks throughout your day to ease stress and strain on your neck. You could even go a step further and do some simple neck stretches before you start work or when you feel tension or soreness in your neck area.
Be Mindful of Your Diet and Snack Habits
Again, this seem like an odd tip, but the foods you eat when on and off the clock can have an effect on your neck. If you overdo it with high-calorie or sugary snacks, for example, you’ll increase your risk of developing neck pain related to inflammation, especially around neck joints and cervical vertebrae. Instead, opt for healthy snacks and meals that include fresh vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and lean sources of protein.
You may also experience fewer issues with neck pain at work if you use a headset instead of a regular phone or a neck-supporting cushion, especially if you have to sit for most of your day or spend most of your time on the road driving for your job. Practicing proper posture by keeping your head straight and in line with your shoulders and avoiding hunching and excessive neck craning when using any handheld devices for work purposes can also reduce your risk of having to file a workers’ comp claim because of a neck-related injury.