Working from Home – A Literal Pain in the Neck and Back
Is working from home causing you back and neck pain?
With so many people working from home (telecommuting) I am receiving a growing number of calls and appointment requests from patients with complaints of increasing neck and back pain. This unplanned shift from office space and work areas designed for extended periods of sitting has left everyone scrambling for a suitable space to work everyday in their home. Kitchen and dining room tables, living room sofas with a laptop desk, makeshift monitor stands, even the most personal of spaces, the bed, has become office space.
The lack of proper sitting posture and poor ergonomics combined with a decrease of movement and physical activity for 8-9 hours each day is leading many working from home to suffer from back and neck pain.
How to avoid and reduce back and neck pain while working from home
- Invest in a quality chair – Choose a chair that is comfortable and offers support for your lower back and hips.
- Utilize a footstool – A footstool will help to keep your knees at hip level while reducing pressure on your lower back.
- Practice proper sitting posture – Leaning forward and slouching is bad for your spine. When sitting concentrate on pulling back your shoulders, keeping your core tight and your lower back, hips and thighs aligned in an L shape.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor – Avoid crossing your legs or ankles which can cause lower back pain.
- Chin up and eyes forward – Invest in a monitor stand to avoid leaning down and forward to view your screen and reduce neck pain. If you are using a laptop, consider the addition of a wireless keyboard so that you can raise your laptop screen to eye level.
- Take a movement break – Schedule in a break every 30-60 minutes to move. Even a quick 5-minute jog in place will loosen your joints and muscles plus increase your energy and focus.
- Active phone calls – If you are just participating in an audio call and don’t need to be on-screen use that time to take a few laps around your home.
- Stand up – Consider utilizing a higher surface for your workspace during part of the day. Kitchen counters or islands can help you mimic a standing desk.
- Rotate your shoulders and neck – When you find yourself slouching or arching forward, sit up straight, shrug your shoulders, and rotate your head from side to side to realign your neck.
- Stretching – When you feel your body getting tight and achy, stand and stretch. Extend your arms towards the ceiling, extend each leg and arm forward and to the side. Repeat. Elongate your body to generate muscle activity and find relief from your static sitting position.
Be aware of the harmful effects of prolonged sitting.
In addition to back and neck pain, prolonged sitting is detrimental to your overall health. Sitting for long periods of time has been found to increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, dementia, and even some types of cancer. With a few adjustments to your WFH daily routine, you can help yourself avoid back and neck pain and keep your body healthy. Consider adding in an after-work hours walk to further mitigate all those hours of sitting. Your body will thank you.
Remember, whether your neck and back pain is caused by WFH or even sports, the best course of treatment is Chiropractic care.
Chiropractors are trained to detect and correct subluxations (spinal misalignments). The importance of maintaining Chiropractic care has never been at a higher point.
During the past 6-7 months, most of us are experiencing stress like never before.
Job loss, illness, remote working, and remote schooling are things most haven’t had to deal with. This can lead to neck and upper back pain as well as persistent headaches. It is difficult enough to navigate during the current stratosphere but when you are in pain and experiencing discomfort it can almost feel impossible!
We are here for all your Chiropratic needs.
Give us a call at (914) 738-4460 to schedule and appointment and get back to feeling the way we all did not too long ago!
Appointments are available. Don’t wait until your pain worsens to seek relief.