Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Why Your Computer Mouse Can Give You Neck Pain!




My name is Doctor Brian Prieto from Yorba Linda, California and welcome to our section called “Questions that patients ask us”.

A real common problem in our society right now is the use of the computer mouse. Everyone uses the computer mouse and if used improperly, it can create issues in our neck and upper back. While on the computer using the mouse, typically our elbows are away from our body, and if we are in this position for a long period of time, it can tighten up and cramp up a muscle in the neck area, we call the trapezius muscle. This muscle is going to get tired and become fatigued, and cramp up. If our elbow is closer to our body, then the trapezius muscle most likely is not going to get tired and fatigued, because the muscle is not contracting. The muscle has to contract and is being pulled when the arm is extended outward. When our elbow is near our body, then the trapezius muscle doesn't have to contract and pull and it won't become fatigued.

For an example here, you can try this at home, put your left hand on top of the right trapezius muscle and move your arm up and down and feel the muscle contracting underneath your left hand.

Now try doing the same motion while you keep your elbow close to your body and see if you can feel the muscle contracting, because you shouldn’t. By doing this demonstration you will get a sense of how this muscle basically works when using the computer mouse. Our elbow away from our body is not good and our elbow close to our body is good.

The tip is this: Keep your mouse closest to your body. Therefore, when you're sitting there for hours at a time working on your computer, you won't get so tired and fatigued on the upper trapezius area.

We'll see you next time.