How to Manage Work-From-Home Back Pain

If you’ve been working from home for the past several months, the early weeks seemed to have its advantages. You did not have to commute, could complete assignments from home and more easily limit contact with others.

 

Yet months into the COVID-19 pandemic, weight gain, lack of physical activity and work-from-home pain may have suddenly cropped up.

 

Perhaps you feel upper back strain or a pinching sensation in your lower back – both stem from poor posture as you hunch over a laptop. You may also be dealing with a sore neck or shoulder discomfort you didn’t experience at the office.

 

If left unaddressed, these sensations can result in musculoskeletal injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome.  To find some relief, think about the following points.

 

ERGONOMICS
Comfort often correlates with productivity. For your home working space, think about posture and comfort in relation to your chair – namely its height and support – as well as your desk, computer and where you put your feet.

 

Within your workspace:

  • Use an office chair designed to support the curve of your back. Not all office chairs are equal, so make sure you choose a design that offers lumbar support. 
  • Examine your posture. Sitting up straight aligns all your bones, muscles and ligaments. In turn, this arrangement helps reduce muscle fatigue, places the spine in its appropriate position and prevents extra stress.
  • Make sure your feet are flat on the floor. Your knees should also be at a 90-degree angle. For this purpose, you may need to add a footrest.
  • Centre your laptop. So you’re not looking too far up or down, your laptop should be directly in front to prevent tilting or turning your head in one direction. You may need to place it on a solid object for a greater degree of elevation.

 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Even if you haven’t experienced weight gain, your step count may not be as high as it used to be. Your commute and walking around the office may have provided extra physical activity you no longer get. Beyond the numbers on the scale, this activity is crucial for muscle and spine health.

 

What alternatives do you have?

  • Get up every 30 to 60 minutes and stretch. This should lessen the strain placed on the intervertebral discs.
  • Schedule low-impact activity multiple times per week, from walking and hiking to yoga. This helps blood flow to your tissues and gets your muscles active.
  • Focus on your core, which is integral to posture. Ignoring this muscle group leads to slouching and misalignment once you’re physically active.

 

Take advantage of Harbourview Therapy to address work-from-home pain and prevent it from getting worse. To learn more, contact us today.

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