I have to take a break from VR for some time due to neck pain

About a month ago, I added a 200g counterweight to my Index headset. About a week or two ago, I was noticing that I started getting neck strain whenever I played games with it. I’ve owned an Index for 8 months and never experienced that much strain before. I thought maybe the positioning of my headset must have changed. But I ignored it, because it was minor strain and I got used to it.

Well about 3 days ago, the strain got more noticeable and the next morning, I woke up with pain in my neck all day. So I avoided using VR completely. The next day, my neck pain went away but I could still sense it was weak. I decided to try my headset for 5 minutes but it was unbearable strain. After taking it off I had neck pain lasting for an hour. Today, I haven’t experienced much pain. Mostly a bit of soreness in my neck, but I’m going to avoid VR until it recovers fully. I might have to do some neck exercises. It could be due to poor posture. It feels like my neck is sticking out but looking in the mirror, it does not seem to stick out much.

Looks like I’ll be doing some flat gaming again. Haven’t played GTA 5 in many months.


That’s unfortunate. Perhaps the balance isn’t right.

I added a 11.1 oz / 312 g counterweight to my 8K and it’s worked well for about a year. That’s approximately 1/2 the weight of the headset itself (no cable). For me, it’s not the extra weight that’s a problem; it’s the forward-heavy headset, which strains my neck and presses down on my nose.

Regardless, your health is far more important than VR.


Yeah, maybe the balance changed a bit. The counterweight I use is an Anker core 10,000 Mah battery strapped to the back with one elastic band and two mini elastic bands. Ocassionally the battery tilts rightwards and I have to straigten it. I had ordered the studioform counterweight in late April to try out, but it’s been stuck in Canadian customs ever since, unfortunately.

I suspect another possible contributing factor is that I have a cable management system holding my cable up. Whenever I move out of the center, the cable creates some tension. If I lengthen the front end of the cable, the pulley tension is lessened but then the cable gets in the way whenever I turn around a lot.


Active motion might be an issue too. I only play seated VR games.

For my counterweight, I taped a couple of small steel wrenches together and attached it to the back of my headset with double-sided Velcro. It was a quick-n-dirty experiment which has worked so well that I haven’t needed to change it. My cable just drops to the floor behind me.


You probably have a repetitive strain injury.
My wife got one in her right arm pretty bad from using a mouse all day, she has now learnt to use her left hand.
If you have two heads use the other one. :zipper_mouth_face: :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


@NextGenVR What type of games do you play? It sounds more like your problem is longer time same neck position. Aiming with HMD is disaster for neck, avoid that.
In my case, I play IL-2 Sturmovik, and there I must permanently scan all my surrounding. My neck is better and more flexible than ever before :smiley:

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I mostly play Pavlov and sometimes Half Life Alyx. Lots of turning, moving, and competitive gun game.

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OK. Maybe you are forced to have action in sweet spots, and unintentionally have your head mostly in one position, with occasionally checking corners?
I remember having neck pain in Skyrim 1-2 times, when I had to fight with many enemies up mountain. I died several times, and was trying again and again. On end I saved and leave it for next time, after my neck was burning.

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Some of us do, but it’s generally frowned upon to use “the second head” for such things… :nerd_face:

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LOL and I expect you have a bit of repetitive strain injury in you wrist and arm as well :face_with_hand_over_mouth: :woozy_face: :smiling_imp: :see_no_evil: :muscle: :fist_left: :grin:

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No, its just my neck lol


No problems in VR so far but I had similar problems using 2 monitors when I looked too much into the one on the side. I think the head (neck muscles) are not “designed” for turning over long period of time and the muscle strain then causes pain (to prevent worse damage).

Generally you should look forward and turn to the sides/up/down only to check things but not keep head turned there for long. Also with age the muscles become weaker and the problem harsher. On the other side exercise should help (but not when the problem is present, then you can make it worse, instead let it rest and it should recover over time).

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The Index is already pretty heavy, so I’m surprised you added so much weight.

I’ve got 95g on the back of my Pimax DAS. I tried 200g but it felt like too much in that I could notice the weight, so I kept reducing the amount to find the minimum possible I could add.

It wasn’t exactly a scientific process - I used duct tape to attach random household objects, so I now have half an old vape stuck to the headset.

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My studioform counterweight was finally released from customs on Monday after I emailed a complaint to customs a few days ago lol. It’s arriving today :slight_smile: @Davobkk


You could try seated vr racing games where it’s easy to have the right head position. Whenever I play racing game most of the time I am pushing my head backward into the seat. No pain at all. :slight_smile:

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