Neck and shoulder pain

Neck and shoulder pain

Written by Daniel Kim, Registered Physiotherapist at North Burnaby Physiotherapy

When we talk about workplace injuries, we often envision traumatic events or repetitive movement injuries; but what about the injuries that occur in the office settings?

The human body was never designed to sit for prolonged periods of time let alone work in a two dimensional setting in front of a computer. Furthermore, many of us develop habits that contribute to the overall dysfunction that arise from sitting. One of the most common problems arise from the upper trapezius muscles and the levator scapulae muscles which sit in between your shoulders and your neck. As soon as you fall into a slouch while sitting, these muscles work hard to keep your head elevated. Additional stress can be put on the right side as it is often the mouse hand. Once these muscles become dysfunctional, a cascade of events occur where various other muscles become tight or weak. The product of these events are often referred to as the upper cross syndrome.

One of the best solutions to this problem is getting a standing desk. Bonus points if they are convertible from sitting to standing. You are much less likely to slouch while in a standing position. Another option is to request an Ergonomic Assessment from your workplace. You may only need a few adjustments in your workspace to make a big difference. However, sometimes these issues are more complicated where your body may have an imbalance of the important muscles and tissues that need correcting. This is when visiting a physical therapist to help find and resolve these issues for you would be helpful. With Physiotherapy a biomechanical analysis of your movements along with postural assessment will be done and a treatment plan will be designed for you to help resolve the issues. For consultations, visit us at our Burnaby Physio office located at Hastings and Boundary, you can call us at the office at 604 298-9048 or book online at