DJ Equipment Can Help Your Neck and Back!
Neck pain and back pain and aches are something people often come to an osteopathic clinic for help with.
One thing I’ve noticed over the past few years is an increasing trend of lots of laptop use being a common contributing factor, and now with the Coronavirus pandemic, with everyone working from home where possible, this is only going to become more common. In fact I have already had some patients contact me for advice on what they can do to to help their working from home set up, because they are getting pain.
This is because when you use a laptop, you tend to slump more, holding your head at a bent angle. It is very difficult to sit up straight when using a laptop, unlike if you are using a desktop, because the screen is low to the table
Simply put – poor sitting posture at a laptop can contribute to neck, upper back and low back pain.
Does It Really Make That Much Difference?
Yes – your working posture can make a huge difference to how you feel in the day. The reason sitting poorly is bad for your spine and muscles, is that your head is actually quite heavy at an average of 5kg – and this is when it’s held in an upright position. The neck and upper shoulder muscles which help hold your head upright, have to work even harder if your head is held at an angle, because the vectors of force and gravity make the head seem heavier.
This can lead to muscles soreness and stiffness, together with neck and upper back pain. It can also lead to ligament strain and the neck and upper back joints being overstretched or compacted depending on how you are sitting. This in turn could lead to tension related headaches.
Also because the top of your spine isn’t working well, it could have a knock on effect to your low back which has to compensate, which could then cause low back pain and aches.
Using a laptop on it’s own, is okay if it’s done only occasionally and for a short period of time. But we are simply not designed to sit with our heads bent for hours on end, and it’s definitely something to avoid if possible when working from home.
But I Only Have A Laptop So What Can I Do?
A lot of people now, only have laptops, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t still have good posture.
It does mean that you have to invest a little money, but it really is definitely worth it. Your spinal health will be much improved, and my patients who have followed the advice have improved markedly, and often don’t need to see me for osteopathic treatment again.
The minimum I would recommend doing is to set your laptop up at a table, and then add the following:
- Laptop Stand
This means you can then set up your laptop more like a desktop. (In an ideal world I would also recommend investing in a monitor which you can attach your laptop too, which again helps your posture, and reduces eye strain, but if this isn’t possible then stick with using a laptop riser).
Also you MUST get up from your desk at least EVERY 30 MINUTES to have a couple of minutes walking around and doing some shoulder rolls and gentle neck movements. This will help decompress your spine (sitting increases the loads on your discs in your back), and take the tension out of your neck, while increasing blood flow to your muscles. You will feel less tired and be more productive if you do this.
But Why Was I Talking About DJ Equipment?
I have been recommending my patients for ages, that they should get a laptop riser, but often, depending on how tall you are, a traditional laptop riser is not high enough. You still end up with your head bent. My laptop used to sit on a laptop stand which itself was then raised up on a box and two reams of paper!
HOWEVER I was then very excited when I then found very recently the best type of laptop stand I have seen yet!
If you go to an online shopping facility or just search in your computer’s search engine for ‘DJ LAPTOP STAND’, various choices will come up.
Because DJs often stand while working, these laptop stands are literally 2-3 times the height of the normal ones. And also some of them will be height adjustable. Hence you are more likely to find one better for you.
What To Definitely Not Do?
So once you have improved your set up using a table, avoid the following – these are all things people have told me make their neck pain or back pain worse:
- Sitting on a sofa with a laptop
- Sitting or lying down on your bed using a laptop (teenagers tend to do this one)
- Sitting for hours at your laptop with your head bent down
Hopefully the discovery of DJ equipment will be useful to those of you who maybe struggling with your laptop posture.
Registered Osteopath, Hove and Brighton