While working from home can be convenient, it can also be a pain in the neck (and back). As a result of working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen a huge spike in chiropractic injuries, such as neck, shoulder, and back strain. If you don’t have a proper ergonomic office set up or are using a computer on a regular table or countertop, you may notice your posture and muscle strain taking a hit. It’s important to keep putting your health first while keeping your daily habits normal and productive.
Follow these tips for taking care of yourself, and avoiding musculoskeletal injury, like a bad back, neck, shoulders, or wrist.
Having an ergonomic setup
While you may have good intentions in setting up a desk with the flimsy chair sitting in the basement, this can be even worse for your neck, back, and shoulder strain than sitting on the couch. While sitting on the lounge or bed, you’re likely not lurching forward, and your back is straight. However, when sitting at a desk, you may find yourself leaning forward, causing your shoulders to roll forward, placing strain on your shoulders, neck, and back. Ensuring you have a supportive chair, desk, and computer at an appropriate height to avoid hunching your shoulders will avoid placing strain on your neck, shoulder, and back muscles.
Switch up your work environment throughout the day
Sitting down all day can place pressure at the base of your spine, which may be why you feel sore or stiff at the end of the day. Find ways to move around the house, get up now and again as you would at the office to chat with some colleagues, or change your work environment. If you have a high kitchen counter, work there for part of the day so you can stand and work, and give your spine a break.
Rubber band stretches
Many people experience carpal tunnel syndrome from typing an excessive amount. Although not unique to the experience of working from home, our wrists can become tense and sore. Many of us adopt the claw motion when typing, which can lead to wrist or forearm tension. Try some rubber band hand stretches when on a phone call or in between typing emails. Extend your fingers so your hands look like you’re signalling the number five, wrap the rubber band around your pinky and thumb finger, engage the extensor muscles on the back of the hand, and stretch.
Working from home is relatively new to most of us, and so may neck, shoulder, back, or wrist pain. If you continue to struggle with these issues, consider getting in touch about our Chiropractic, podiatry, and massage services.