Working from home means no commute, more flexibility with your day, and of course, the ability to stay socially distant and less exposed to germs and viruses. However, all of that comes with at least one potential drawback — the likelihood of increased neck pain.
Chronic neck pain is a common complaint among patients at Apex Medical Center. Our team of expert providers have become accustomed to sharing tips on avoiding neck pain that arises due to working from home. Here, we share our best tips with you.
Regardless of your work-from-home office setup, it’s important to move often. People tend to move more often in office environments than at home. You may need to set an alarm or reminder to move around every 20 minutes or so. Stand and stretch, pace back and forth for a minute or two, or even do a few squats or jumping jacks.
Staying any one position for too long can lead to some muscles getting tighter and some muscles getting weaker. Over time, those muscle imbalances can lead to pain.
If you work from a laptop, it’s easy to find yourself looking down, hunched over, which is a terrible position for your neck. The weight of your head ends up being supported only by your neck, which leads to neck strain.
You might not feel any consequences from hunching over your laptop for a few hours or a day, but working that way day in and day out can become painful.
To correct the problem, raise your laptop, either with a stand or a stack of books, to eye level when you’re sitting in a chair. Use an external keyboard to keep your hands and arms in a comfortable, ergonomic position.
If you don’t have an actual home office with a desk and an office chair, you may not have a proper office chair. Whether you’re working from a dining room chair or a chair in your living room, you may want to take a moment to consider your chair.
Do your feet rest flat on the floor with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle? Do you have lumbar support? Can you lean your head back?
Getting into an ergonomically correct position while you work may take a little effort, but it may also help you avoid the pain of neck strain!
If you’re already experiencing chronic neck pain, schedule an appointment at Apex Medical Center. Whether your pain is due to working from home or some other cause, we can help you understand the problem. You may need to do some specific exercises or stretches, or you may need to adjust how you sleep or work.