If Your Client Has Neck Pain, Why they Should Never Use a Laptop?

Chronic neck pain is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It can be very frustrating, and it can significantly affect your ability to function daily. It is generally not something that goes away with time, so you will likely need to take action to manage your neck pain.

Walking Around & Thinking About Neck Pain

It was Monday afternoon, and I walked with my son and dog outside while listening to the upcoming Exercise and Scoliosis CD. I was making my notes on the interview with Dr. Will Kalla. He commented that if university students with scoliosis continue to have poor posture while studying and doing computer work, the poor posture will worsen their scoliosis.

It got me thinking about computers and laptops.


In the 90s, there was a considerable push to redesign one’s desktop computer workstation to decrease carpal tunnel syndrome. There has been tiny talk or information on how laptops affect the body. With laptop use on the rise, I could not find the number, but I am sure it is 60% or more. I know in my house we have two laptops and one desktop. Some universities are reporting 85% laptop use by students.

While my son was having a nap, I did a little research to see if there had been much research on laptops and posture. I was blown away to see that the only one I could find was from 1997. If you know of something more recent, please post a comment below.

Do you remember how big and heavy a laptop was in 1997?

Have you seen how small the laptops that university students are using?

There may not be much research, but the study got me thinking about my clients with neck pain.

I want to give you what you need to know, especially for those using laptops with greater neck flexion and head tilt than those using a desktop computer.

Greater Neck Flexion

If you have injured your neck, you don’t need more pressure. Look at the muscle of the neck. They are small. More load is put on these muscles with greater neck flexion or bringing your chest closer to your chin. If the muscles can’t hold the load, then the force gets put on the neck’s ligaments and other non-contractile tissues.

Greater Head Tilt

When using a laptop, you get more significant movement at the top of your cervical spine or neck. This considerable tilt leads to more load on the spine. Once again, if you have a neck injury, you don’t need to be putting more load or force on it.

The take-home message, if you have a laptop and neck pain, don’t use it in your lap. Using a laptop leads to more head tip and neck flexion. This puts more force or load on your neck. Increased pressure on your injured neck will keep things irritated and slow your clients’ recovery from a neck injury. When you are talking with your client and asking them what they do, make sure you ask if they use a laptop or have a neck injury.

Enough reading and typing. I got to get back into the sun. My son is already awake.

Feel free to comment on this blog post. Add research that you know about, or add your own stories.

If you want to learn a simple step-by-step guide that will finally end your neck pain, then check out the Neck Pain Solved program here:

Neck Pain Solved

Thank you for reading.

Rick Kaselj, MS