Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Computers: do they make your pain worse?

The lack of a definitive diagnosis can be almost as frustrating as pain itself. How can one move forward with treatment if he or she doesn't know the root of the problem? Individuals who have facial pain often have neck pain, shoulder pain, jaw pain, or back pain.

Medical intervention is appropriate to determine a diagnosis.

People often ask me about the pain I've experienced. I have learned about pain from your experiences, my experience, and academic information. I'm no physician, but I can tell you some things that have reduced discomfort through my neck and sternocleidomastoid (scm) area. Here is one of many diagrams of the a diagrams of the scm available on the Internet: The SCM.  If you are looking for a case study, plenty are available. You may want to read this: A case study of sternocleidomastoid syndrome.

Several years ago when I returned to the workforce, I spent most of my day working on a computer and talking on the phone. I loved what I was doing, but pain hit me full force. It was debilitating. When my doctor sent me for physical therapy, I was blessed to have a therapist who used Kinesio tape. She had advanced training with Kinesio, and I was amazed that she could place a piece of tape in my scm area and give me relief from computer strain. If you're interested in Kinesio tape, you can find more information here: Kinesio tape . Be sure to find a qualified medical professional who has expertise with this tool if you think you would like to pursue this avenue of medical care.

Another thing that helped me and still helps me with muscle pain is medication. I take a muscle relaxer as prescribed by my neurologist. It helps me with pain caused by my jaw and pain that radiates from my cervical area.

A change in ergonomics has also helped me. I stopped sitting a computer desk. This isn't an option for everyone, but it has benefited me. I use my notebook computer, and I type from my recliner.  Years ago, my husband voiced his desire for one of these chairs, but they did not appeal to my design aesthetic.  My upper cervical chiropractor told me he thought I would benefit from the neck support. He was right! I bought an inexpensive recliner, and what wonderful support it provides. My office, which once was an entire room, is now a chair. I have a wireless printer, so I am not tied to a desk. I don't use a mouse any more, and that seems to help also.

One more thing that benefits me is having a bed that "feels good." That means different things for different people. For me, it means A Stearns and Foster mattress, an "upgraded" model.  Pain is expensive, but relief is worth it. That's my opinion. I hope you find relief. God bless you.

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  1. Thank you for your post. In your post you said your upper cervical doctor told you about a pillow. Did the upper cervical care help you neck?

  2. Yes, the upper cervical care helped with my neck. Hope you feel better soon.

  3. Thanks, Kathy, for all this valuable info! I will be investigating your suggestions. Always learning something new!

    I have two pillows propped up on my bed and have a special low/upper back support cushion in front of it. Then I use a hospital type table that my hubby custom made for me and put my laptop on it. I don't use a mouse either. This is a comfortable way for me to write. Otherwise I can only sit at my desk for about 10 minutes at a time before pain begins.

    I also have a moist heating pad that I use behind my back and neck.

  4. Thank you Kathy, I can relate to this completely. I no longer work and feel my pain has decreased now that I am not sitting at a desk all day, working on a computer. My pain seems to be in "remission" if that is possible. I am grateful for the relief and praying it lasts! Thank you again for you and your blog!