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Old 08-22-2007, 05:01 PM   #1
iza
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laptop-related neck pain
I started to work from home 2 months ago and I stare at a laptop all day long. I bought a new working chair to be more comfortable, but these days I have a lot of pain in my neck and my right shoulder. I am 99% sure it's because of my laptop and/or my desk. For the right shoulder, it could be because of the mouse I assume... my chair does have armrests though.

Anybody have any thoughts, suggestions or references? I think buying a new desk would help... but I would appreciate any other tips.
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:08 PM   #2
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Make sure you get up out of your chair and walk around for a few minutes every hour. You should also do some neck, shoulder and arm stretches.

I work on a laptop all day myself and that coupled with knitting tightens up my shoulders and arms a lot. If I didn't stretch constantly I'd be in a lot of pain.
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:09 PM   #3
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People with laptops tend to hunch over them. I agree with making sure you get up and stretch a lot.
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Old 08-22-2007, 05:48 PM   #4
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If you haven't already, get yourself an external full size keyboard and mouse. A trackball mouse may help some. An external monitor would help as you won't be looking down all the time as it will be more at eye level.
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Old 08-22-2007, 07:23 PM   #5
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While you're at it, get yourself an external tower too.




Hehehe, just kidding. I'm in a goofy mood today. :-)
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Old 08-22-2007, 07:41 PM   #6
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Going along with mason's comment, you should also look into getting basically an elevator, it basically allows your laptop to sit at eye level, and allows a keyboard and mouse to rest underneath it. another thing to do if you can afford to, is get a height adjustable chair.
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:47 AM   #7
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I have an external keyboard for my work laptop. it helps a LOT. I also have an adjustable chair, and I have put the laptop in a docking station to raise the screen up to a better height for me. (phone books would probably work just as well.) I have a trackball mouse I use plugged into the external keyboard that I LOVE. much less strain on the wrist. (but you do have to clean it once a month or so)

and stretching breaks are key.... it is worth getting the desk set up for the most comfort. you will be more productive! I bought a special desk at IKEA for my multiple computer/monitor situation- it has a platform at the back of the desk that my flat screen monitors are on. it raises them to a nice eye level for me. then the docking station and laptop are next to the platform. I don't use a pull out keyboard shelf, b/c I'm too tall and they make me feel like I'm typing on the floor, but I do have those gel "wrist rests" in front of the keyboard and trackball.

hope you find something that works for you!
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:52 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your suggestions! I decided to follow what many of you suggested and I bought a keyboard and raised my screen, I think it will help.

I'm in a lot of pain however and had to go to the ER on Saturday! I was feeling numbness in my hand and it was a bit freaking me out. I had a car accident two months ago so I was starting to wonder if it was related. Anyways it seems to be only nerve irritation and I'm on anti-inflammatory medications now. I don't see any improvement yet, but the doctor said it would take a few days before I see a difference. We'll see. I can't take ibuprofen with Naproxen so that's probably why he also prescribed codeine. I didn't think I would need it, I avoid taking too much medication, but the pain is pretty bad today, so I might have to.

I never thought a laptop could cause that much damage. I feel very stupid for not being more careful.
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:55 PM   #9
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The nerve irritation could be from a combination of things. Like knitting, the computer, driving (which you aren't used to.) Not just anyone.

If your doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory TAKE IT. It will help calm the area around the nerve damage and stop it from being inflamed. It will take a few days for this to be noticeable. But if you just meant you weren't taking the codeine (for the pain), then that is up to your discretion.

I hope you feel better, soon! (Wishing I hadn't left my anti-inflammatories and wrist braces at home, actually.)
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