Do you have pain in your neck, pain, shoulders, or knees? You may be causing or exacerbating the issue in the way that you engage with everyday objects in your residence and workplace.

University of Washington pain medicine professor Dr. Heather Tick explains that habitual problems – including slouching in the car and keeping too many belongings in your purse – can lead to long-term aches in your body.

Here is an overview of ways you can change your daily behavior to mitigate discomfort from day-to-day causes, as compiled by Beth W. Orenstein of Everyday Health.

Personal computer

Long hours staring at a PC monitor result in more than social networking prowess. After reviewing the screen-obsessed lifestyles of 30,000 teens, Norwegian researchers determined that back, shoulder, and neck pain rose in direct relationship to the number of hours logged on videogames and TV – suggesting that they are common pain triggers.

You don’t have to entirely remove these activities: you can reduce your pain symptoms by stretching and placing monitors slightly below eye level.


Mattresses that are excessively firm or soft often cause the back or neck to hurt. Osteopathic physician Mitchell K. Freedman notes that you should additionally consider how your body is positioned during the night. “The best sleeping position for pain management is your side or back,” explains Orenstein. “Place a pillow under your knees for added support.”


We often fill up our purses, wanting all of our personal items to be conveniently available. However, every item that is added makes it more likely that your bag will become one of your pain triggers. Weigh your handbag or purse to check that it consistently remains under 5 pounds.


Sitting in non-ergonomic environments for prolonged periods is one of the top causes of musculoskeletal aching. Make sure that your posture remains vertical. You also want to reposition your seat to allow a minor elbow bend when holding the steering wheel.

Periodic stretching is also critical on road trips.


Both landlines and cell phones can damage your neck and decrease its range of motion. Buy a headset to prevent development of chronicity.

When to seek medical attention

Orenstein stresses that if you incorporate the above methods into your lifestyle and your chronic pain remains, “talk to your doctor because it could be a sign of a more serious condition that needs specific pain treatment.” If that’s the case, Health Star Clinic can help.