Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Upper Spine FAQ


My doctor told me that I've got problems with thoracic outlet syndrome because I hunch over at my work bench all day. I assemble small electronic parts. My attempts to stay upright don't last very long. Before I know it, I'm hunched over again. How can I keep from slouching at work?


Raise the height of the work bench slightly. This may make it easier for you to manipulate small items while you keep your back upright. Make sure you have adequate overhead lighting and an adjustable task light. Good lighting means that you won't bend closer to see what you're working on.

Be careful about resting your elbows on the bench. This can put cause pressure on the ulnar nerve, which runs along the inside edge of your elbow. Take breaks every 30 to 60 minutes to do some shoulder shrugs and stretching. Set up times to remind yourself to check you posture, such as when you check your watch or complete a routine task.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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