Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Computers growing source of headaches

Getting rid of those computer use headaches ...

"You feel like an invisible vise has had your head in its grips for days. The Aspirin you took has done absolutely nothing to loosen the grip. They might as well have been sugar pills.

So look down. Are you hunched over the computer? How long have you been there? Are you playing computer games? Is your head tilted forward as it would be to read a book or a laptop?

If so, more than likely you have what is called a cervicogenic headache.

That is the medical term for a mechanical dysfunction in the neck joints that is a growing problem as more people sit at computers for longer periods at a time.

Blair Schachterle, physical therapist and executive chair of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapy, says people are putting in longer and longer hours on their computers these days as employers demand more to cope with short staffing.

"People are working longer hours hunched over a computer and end up going home in the evening with shooting pain in their back and neck that results in a headache."

Schachterle says anyone in a sedentary occupation, who sits for long periods of time, risks cervicogenic headaches if they don't pay attention to their posture.

"We are really vulnerable in the area," he says. "We have a 12-pound weight which is our head sitting on these really tiny, small joints with muscles that are really small supporting that structure.

"If you spend more than 70 per cent of your time at work with your neck bent forward at 20 degrees, which is the same as reading, writing or looking down at a computer, you increase the risk of a neck headache."    (Continued via Canada.com)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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