Is Working From Home a Pain in Your Neck?

Is Working From Home a Pain in Your Neck?

An unprecedented number of us are finding ourselves not only juggling home life, but amid the COVID-19 pandemic, also working from home. As you find yourself plugging away in your home office, you may notice aches and pains cropping up in your neck and back.

A less-than-ideal desk setup, combined with less physical activity, can be a recipe for musculoskeletal pain. At Pain Management Specialists in Rockville and Frederick, Maryland, our health specialists are experts in helping patients manage pain. In this blog, we explain how you can make some simple yet effective changes to your home office setup, so you can restore your body’s natural alignment.

The link between working from home and neck and back pain

You may have taken your company’s office setup for granted. Manufacturers that supply companies with desks and chairs tend to specialize in making furniture designed to feel comfortable for the duration of a typical workday. For most people, that’s at least eight hours.

Professional office furniture is designed to keep your spine aligned, your weight distributed evenly, and pressure off of your neck and back. Furniture that does these things can allow you to work comfortably for extended periods. 

Note that it’s still important to get short periods of movement, such as walking, during your workday. Sitting for too long, no matter how ergonomic your setup is, can be bad for your health.

If you suddenly had to work from home when the pandemic hit, you likely did your best with what you had. Eventually, you may have bought a decent task chair and desk. 

The problem is, typical task chairs aren’t very ergonomic, and they’re meant to be used for short durations, such as 3-4 hours. Sitting in the average task chair for 6-8 hours can wreak havoc on the musculoskeletal system.

Working from home the right way

The following tips can help take the pain out of working from home:

Correct your posture

When it comes to alleviating neck and back pain when working from home, the first place to start is with your posture. Having a proper posture can relieve the strain on your neck and surrounding muscles. Here are some tips for positioning your posture correctly:

Making these simple adjustments can alleviate a significant amount of strain on your spine, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Adjust your seat height

Sitting too low or too high can cause neck strain. Your seat is at the proper height when your eyes are lined up about three inches below the top of your screen.

Depending on your desk height, you may need to use a riser for your screen. The goal is to look directly at the screen without tilting your head up or down.  

Buy a good ergonomic office chair 

If you’re experiencing neck or back pain, it’s worth it to purchase a high-quality ergonomic office chair. Look for a chair that comfortably allows you to maintain proper posture while working. These types of chairs typically feature multiple adjustments, so you can get the perfect fit for your needs.

If you’re dealing with neck and back pain now that you’re working from home, we can help. Our individualized treatment plans are designed to relieve your symptoms so you can get back to your life. To get started, book an appointment online or over the phone with Pain Management Specialists today.

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