Thursday, 15 December 2016

Neck Pain in IT Professionals; Causes and Treatment

“Neck pain is common, but not normal”.

The development of computer and information technology and increased exposure to devices for long working hours is perhaps one of the most dominating factors in this ever changing working life of today. The computer related activities can cause neck pain, upper back pain, and shoulder pain among youngsters and IT professionals. Usually neck pain is caused by trauma, muscle strain, poor posture, bone abnormalities etc. This is categorized as a musculoskeletal disorder under occupational diseases. Usually it starts as a muscular disorder and later it affects the spine and the vessels in nearby area, if left untreated. So, the chronic fatigue and injury to the part leads to inflammation, pain, neurological deficit and radiculopathy.

Neck Pain Causes and Treatment in IT Professionals

Neck pain causes and treatment:

CAUSES
We can include the causes mainly under muscle strain and poor posture which happens by high or low screen position, shoulder elevation in mouse users, poor placement of key board, constant and continuous usage of computer without proper rest etc. The condition worsens if we are staying mostly in highly cold atmosphere for longer time. So, it is advisable to avoid sitting directly under the A/C, continuous blowing of fan over the affected area etc. I could reel off again that even psychological factors also trigger the conditions.

COMMON SYMPTOMS
Neck pain is commonly associated with dull aching. Sometimes pain in the neck is worsened with movement of the neck or turning the head. Some of the symptoms are
  1. Stiff neck.
  2. General soreness.
  3. Radiating pain to the hands and fingers
  4. Tingling, numbness, or weakness
  5. Trouble with gripping or lifting objects.
  6. Pain radiating over lower back of head
  7. Tenderness and shoulder pain
  8. Feeling tired, dizziness and Lightheadedness
  9. Lymph node enlargements.
Diagnosing neck pain may require X-rays, MRIs, and other imaging techniques if you show the symptoms of neuropathy, arthritis, fever, weight loss, worsening of condition rather reducing symptoms etc. 

TREATMENTS
Most often the pain is due to fatigued muscle caused by overstraining. One of the easiest things everyone can do is to take a break of just one minute in every hour from the computer. This will keep your muscles relaxed and reduce the stress and strain. Stretching, strengthening exercises, neck exercises, yoga and other similar forms of exercise are often helpful. Other treatments include use of muscle relaxants and pain killers.

There are several other neck pain remedies that you can do at home like applying hot bag at the painful area, usage of neck collar, neck pillow or thin pillow for sleep. Always try to take proper rest and proper sleep. Other treatments include physio therapy, tractions etc which help a lot in back pain relief as well. Consulting a chiropractor can really be helpful as he can assist you in choosing the right kind of exercises that works specifically for your problem.

According to ayurveda these kinds of diseases come under the category of diseases due to vitiation of vata dosha. Treatments in Ayurveda include external therapies like Dhanyamla Dhara, podikizhi, abhyanga, nasya, greeva pichu, greeva vasthi etc, depends on the condition of the disease and patient. Along with this doctor might suggest internal medicines like kashayams, aristams, gulikas, medicated ghee etc.

As the saying goes like “Prevention is better than cure”. Start with small things which you can do during your daily life.

Stay in good posture always. Adjust the desk and chair to keep the monitor at your eye level.
  1. Take frequent breaks. If possible every 1 hour.
  2. Avoid holding the phone in between the ear and shoulder while talking
  3. Avoid carrying heavy bags with strap on shoulders
  4. Keep your neck and head straight while sleeping and driving.
 “Stay healthy, stay fit, have a great life”.

If you are suffering from any such condition, get expert advice and treatment for quick recovery. CLICK HERE to book appointment with Dr. Ramya Deepak.
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