In this day and age, almost everyone experiences some form of neck pain caused by looking down at a screen for extended periods of time. This is especially the case for people who use a laptop, given their low-profile design, they are practically engineered to induce neck pain. Luckily, there are several cures for this modern plague and we’re here to share them with you. If you’re a regular laptop user and are looking for neck pain home remedies and neck pain fixes, you came to the right place!
What Causes Neck Pain While Using a Laptop
It’s only natural to want to find the most comfortable position when working, playing a game, or watching a movie, especially when using laptops since they sit much lower than desktop monitors. The problem with this is that staring at a laptop screen that is lower than your eye level for extended periods of time is one of the number one causes of neck pain. You are effectively straining and injuring the muscles and other tissues that connect to the cervical spine when you look down at your laptop for long stretches. This discomfort caused by looking down at your screen too much is colloquially referred to as “tech neck” or “text neck”.
Tech neck symptoms typically manifest as neck pain at the back, neck pain in front, neck pain at the sides, and even in your shoulders, and chest; or - if you’re really unlucky - all of the above. The human head weighs 10-12 pounds, but when you tilt it downward, the neck takes the brunt of that weight. Without the support of the muscles in your upper back and shoulders, the weight that the neck must bare equates to about 50-60 pounds.
Other tech neck symptoms include:
Tech neck isn’t just caused by using a laptop; it is generally caused by not keeping our screens directly at eye level; however, if you are someone who uses their laptop a lot, there is hope for you yet! There are several ways in which you can remedy neck pain or avoid it altogether.
7 Best Ways to Avoid Neck Pain While Using Laptops
1. Use an Ergonomic Laptop Stand
An ergonomic laptop stand that can be adjusted to keep your laptop screen at eye level is the best strategy for preventing neck pain. With your screen directly in front of your eyes, your neck need not take all the weight of your head and the load can be evenly distributed across your neck, upper back, and shoulders.
2. Aerobic Exercises
Making sure that you get enough physical activity, especially muscle activation in your upper back and shoulders, will help strengthen those muscles and tissues that support your head, and will ultimately help to reduce neck pain. Some great aerobic exercises that can help reduce neck pain include swimming, elliptical machine, and basic calisthenics, like pull-ups and push-ups.
3. Neck Pain Relief Stretches
After all, that time spent under tension, your neck will not only feel sore and stiff, but will also suffer from limited mobility. Stretching is the best way to alleviate neck stiffness and regain mobility. Try to incorporate neck stretches once a day to reduce neck pain caused by using your laptop for extended periods of time. We’ve also prepared a neck pain exercises video for you: NECK PAIN GONE! Daily Stretches For Neck Tightness And Pain.
4. Take Breaks
Neck pain from using your laptop isn’t just from the downward tilted position you keep your head in; that’s a natural position, after all. The main issue is the amount of time spent in that position - that’s the unnatural source of the problem. By taking breaks, you give those neck muscles a rest and some recovery time so that you don’t feel neck pain later on in your day.
5. Neck Pain Essential Oil
Natural essential oils are one of the most pleasant neck pain home remedies, but there are also oils branded as “neck pain essential oils” and are marketed to be extremely effective for neck pain. These “neck pain essential oils” are usually just a blend of natural essential oils or even just one specific oil packaged and labeled differently. In any case, essential oils have been proven to reduce inflammation, stress, tension, and even muscle spasms. All in all, using essential oils can be a very effective part of your neck pain alleviation strategy. Here are seven essential oils that can reduce neck pain:
6. A Neck Pain Massage
Massaging is an exceptionally effective way to loosen stiff muscles and encourage blood flow through a sore spot. Simply lower your shoulders and press and rub firmly into the painful area. You can also locate and massage neck pain pressure points found on the back of your neck at the base of your skull and two inches up from your backbone.
7. Visit a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist
If none of these strategies work, then you might have a particularly acute case of tech neck. Visit a chiropractor, physiotherapist, or massage therapist for treatment and advice.
How Ergonomic Laptop Stands Help with Neck Pain and More
As previously mentioned, neck pain from laptop use stems from looking down at the screen for extended periods of time. An ergonomic laptop stand prevents neck pain altogether by keeping your laptop screen at eye level so you don’t cause strain from tilting your head downward.
I can speak firsthand as to the efficacy laptop stands offer in regard to reducing neck pain. I tried writing the first half of this article without one and felt the tension and discomfort build up within minutes. It didn’t take me long to end that little experiment and prop my laptop back on its trusty stand.
Before I settled on the laptop stand I currently use, I tested out a few different designs and discovered that pretty much all stands will help with neck pain, but some designs help alleviate pain in other places that I didn’t even know were caused by using my laptop.
What I found out was that height and angle adjustability are key to finding the sweet spot for my personal setup and body proportions. By using a laptop stand with this degree of personalization, the screen and keyboard are just at the right level for me, so I feel completely relaxed and comfortable when working on my laptop.
Other Benefits of Ergonomic Laptop stands
Along with correcting neck, shoulder, and upper back pain, ergonomic laptop stands also provide these benefits:
The Best Ergonomic Laptop Stands for Neck Pain
The key to a real neck pain fix is to get a laptop stand that allows you to adjust it so that your screen is at eye level and your wrists can be supported by either your desk or the stand itself. Although fixing neck pain is most important, you also may want to consider getting a laptop stand that suits what you use it most for, be that working, gaming or watching TV and movies. Here are the best ergonomic laptop stands for each of these functions.
- Best Ergonomic Laptop Stand for Work - OMOTON Ergonomic Laptop Holder
What makes OMOTON’s ergonomic laptop holder excellent for neck pain prevention is its high degree of adjustability. You can adjust the angle and height, and it can even be rotated. It's so easy to find the perfect neck pain preventing position with this level of adjustability!
The design of this OMOTON laptop stand also allows for maximum airflow to encourage heat dissipation which will keep your hardware safe and cool. It’s really ideal for Macbooks seeing as they lack vents on their bottom panel and it also matches the Macbook’s signature Space Grey color.
Lastly, this ergonomic laptop holder is made of premium quality, lightweight aluminum alloy, and is collapsible, so you can take it from home to the office or wherever you like with ease and comfort.
- Best Laptop Stand for Gaming - Tilted Nation RGB Gaming Laptop Stand
All gamers, whether casual or competitive, are familiar with those telltale tech neck symptoms that are bound to occur during a lengthy gaming session. This gaming laptop stand helps with neck pain and posture, and then some with its impressive array of features.
With a practical USB hub to connect your peripherals, RGB lighting, and a sleek design, Tilted Nation puts your laptop gaming setup will make classic desktop gamers jealous.
- Best Laptop Stand for Watching Movies - Ohuhu Adjustable Vented Laptop Table
You can still get a nasty case of neck pain even when using your laptop in bed or on the couch. Some say that the best position to use laptop on bed is to lie facing upward with your head propped up by a pillow and your knees raised - with Ohuhu’s Adjustable Vented Laptop Table, it really doesn’t matter what position you’re in, it’s versatile adjustment capabilities that will keep your screen at eye level, no matter how you want to lounge. Not only that, but it will also keep your laptop cool by situating your laptop’s vents above the bed or couch fabric and blowing air into them with its built-in silent fans.
On top of that, this laptop stand has plenty of surface space, so you can keep a drink or a snack conveniently placed right on the stand itself.
The key to avoiding neck pain while using your laptop is to keep your laptop screen at eye level. You can alleviate neck pain with a variety of methods, but it’s always going to come back so long as that screen is below your eye level. The best way to avoid neck pain altogether is to invest in an ergonomic laptop stand, especially if you use your laptop a lot for work or entertainment. There’s a vast selection of ergonomic laptop stands out there, but if you’re looking for versatility, portability, and a laptop stand that will look good and last a lifetime, check out OMOTON’s Ergonomic Laptop Holder.