10:03 am August 14, 2019

Workplace Injury Prevention:
Tech Neck, Skull Horns and Avoiding Pain

Source: Brian J Boyle, PT, DPT

If you have been paying attention to the news recently, you may have seen the sensationalized headline, “Teens Growing Skull Horns” and thought maybe looking at phones or laptops might cause the same odd thing to happen to your team. The good news is that while “Tech Neck” is certainly becoming more common, extra bony growth at the base of the skull is far from the norm and is surprisingly not new, despite what the headlines may lead you to believe.

Over the last 20 years or so, neck discomfort in all forms, at least anecdotally, is surpassing low back pain as the reason people are seeking out physical therapy services. Is there enough proof to determine cause and effect neck pain from looking at technology (cell phone, laptop, tablets)? Well not exactly. Is the increase in neck pain because we are continuously connected to work and life at all times causing muscle tension? Not sure again.

What we do know is that there are ways to reduce muscle tension and neck pain and that a physical therapist can help. In order to help your employees be at their best, we have created the “5 Minute Posture Fix ™” which can be used by anyone with only a few simple materials (a beach towel and some resistance bands). Type in access code “FDM3JYRJ” when prompted to access this program.

As with everything, best practices say to be consistent with a program like this. In order to do so, employees should use a resistance band that is comfortable and not worry if they are not sore after performing these exercises. Daily performance over weeks and months will have your team in the best posture with minimal to no pain related to technology use.

For additional tips, consider a full ergonomics program.

  • Aches and pains can often be prevented through use of job analysis or ergonomic assessments, which can lead to recommendations to make jobs safer.
  • Eliminating awkward or static postures, developing tools or instruments to decrease force and repetition, and modifying job tasks or processes can lead to risk reduction and less discomfort for employees.
  • Engaging onsite therapists can help make pain go away and prevent it before it starts. Not only can they provide first aid screening and care for employees experiencing aches and pains, they can also get out to the worksite and assist with job coaching, workplace warm-up and movement routines and ergonomic interventions.

For more information on the “5 Minute Posture Fix” or an ergonomics assessment, contact WorkWell today.

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