New Trends with Working from Home
With more people working from home these days, we have noticed an unfortunate trend with our patients; increased neck and back pain. Many times the only change in their routine is having no or limited time in the office. While the stress of changing our normal habits doesn’t help, the root cause often turns out to be ergonomics.
Ergonomics is defined as “the study of people’s efficiency in their work environment.” We like to think of it as making sure your workspace is set up correctly. While offices are filled with desks and workstations that are designed for computer use, our homes are not. Many of our patients are working on laptops on their kitchen table or on the couch. While convenient for quickly checking emails, these spaces are not good for long term use.
Some Helpful Suggestions
Fortunately, there are some simple fixes we can make to help the situation. First off, we need to commit to a desk or table with a straight back chair. Reserve the couch for Netflix, because curling up with a laptop on the sofa is a recipe for sore muscles and achy joints. Next, add some additional cushioning for your lower back with a lumbar support or a pillow. Along with keeping your feet flat on the floor, this will help you from slouching, and provide the rest of your spine with a good foundation.
If you’re working on a laptop, we need to get the screen up higher so you’re not looking down. A monitor stand or even some old books will do the trick. Now that the monitor is up level with your line of sight, we will need to attach a separate keyboard and a mouse, so your arms are relaxed and in the proper position. Now that your workspace is set up correctly, there should be less stress on your neck and back, allowing you to work pain free!
If you follow all the above suggestions and are still suffering from back and neck pain, it may be time for a consultation with Dr. Neil to discuss your symptoms. You may need an alignment to get pressure off the joints of the back and neck. If your symptoms are mild, scheduling a massage to work out those tight muscles is also a good place to start. Give us a call at 440-716-8400 to schedule a consultation or a treatment. We can also be reached by text at 440-799-1729 or email at [email protected].