You feel like an invisible vise has had your head in its grips for days. The Aspirin you took has done absolutely nothing to loosen the grip. They might as well have been sugar pills.
So look down. Are you hunched over the computer? How long have you been there? Are you playing computer games? Is your head tilted forward as it would be to read a book or a laptop?
If so, more than likely you have what is called a cervicogenic headache.
That is the medical term for a mechanical dysfunction in the neck joints that is a growing problem as more people sit at computers for longer periods at a time.
“We are really vulnerable in the area,” he says. “We have a 12-pound weight which is our head sitting on these really tiny, small joints with muscles that are really small supporting that structure.
Andrew Hosking, an orthopedic manual physical therapist in Vancouver, says 30 to 40 per cent of his clients complain of symptoms directly or indirectly relating to posture while sitting at a computer.
While Hosking mostly sees adults, kids and especially teens have started developing the same problems because they tend to sit for hours at a time, totally engrossed in computer games, MSN or YouTube snip-its.
“If people comply with that and make some adjustments in ergonomics such as using a headset, then the results can be pretty good.”
One of the biggest challenges in computing (besides keyboards and mice) is solving the problem of the monitor. Whether working, playing games, shopping online, or watching viral videos, we are spending more and more time staring at our screens. This problem is only going to get worse unless the design of monitors and the way we interact with them changes.