If you’re like me, you probably spend way too many. I average a 10-hour workday and then a few more hours at night cleaning up some email and surfing the web. And I don’t get up from my chair often enough.
And based on what I know now, I’m bent over that laptop with all the wrong posture. I also constantly check my phone when I’m out and about to make sure I keep the ball rolling on things at the office. And I’m bent down staring at my iPhone.
And I’m now paying the price.
I have computer neck syndrome
I have herniated disk in my neck, which is radiating into my shoulder and down into my left hand. It’s been excruciating and so painful. I’ve had to skip the gym. I can’t sleep through the night and I’ve been taking pain killers, having massages, soaking in hot tubs, icing it and have a lidocaine patch on my back. I’ve assaulted the pain with everything I could get my hands on. I have a high tolerance for pain, but this is killing me because it hurts so much. Nerve pain is different than pain from a sore muscle or bruise. And apparently I will have to deal with this for the next three weeks before it subsides.
Today we have Google at hand. So I did a bit of research on YouTube. And I found these videos on computer neck and back. They describe exactly what I’ve been feeling: the tightness in my chest because I’ve shortened my shoulder muscles from being bent over. I started doing the first neck exercise and I already feel somewhat better. I can feel just how tight my shoulder muscles are as I do them.
1. Watch this video.
2. Make sure you have good posture.
3. Put a blanket rolled up behind your back to ensure you’re sitting upright.
4. Do the exercises periodically during the day.
A few weeks ago, the New York office where I work started doing 3pm in the afternoon stretches. We’ve even added them to the calendar to make sure we fit them in.