We are living in some strange times… few have returned to work in an office building and have no plans to return until at least the new year. Now, schools are being taught completely online. Many people begin to question why they are having more neck and back pain while working. You’ve been doing this for years with no pain… why now? Why from the comfort of your own home? We have some great tips to help you prevent neck and back pain. We’re here to help if you need to schedule an appointment for treatment and more assistance. Simply call us at 612-750-7168 or visit our online appointment page.
By Alison Alexander, DPT
Feeling the pain of working at home?
Many people fail to consider how they are working when in the office vs. at home. When at work, you probably sit at a desk with a rolling chair and have a computer monitor to work from. However, from home, many people have made make-shift desks, work from a laptop, and sometimes sit on their couch in poor posture. This is putting excessive pressure and stress through the joints of your spine and aggravating the surrounding muscles. There are modifications that everyone can make to help reduce the pain they feel while performing computer work.
In this blog, we will discuss the proper position for computer work and some quick, make-shift modifications that can be done to reduce the stress through your spine and surrounding muscles.
Great DIY suggestions to get proper desk alignment
Can I get proper alignment with a laptop? What if I only have access to a laptop for work?
- Bring the laptop up so that the top of the screen is level with your eyes. Stack the laptop on several old text books, dictionaries, phone books, or anything else you can find.
- You can plug an external keyboard and mouse into the laptop so as to bring them closer to your hands.
What should I do if I don’t have a desk at home?
- Sitting at a table/counter top in a kitchen or dining room table chair is best. This will provide better support and promote good posture.
- Do not sit on your couch, “lazy-boy chair”, or in your bed. These places often promote poor, slouching posture when attempting to work on a computer.
- If you have no furniture except for your bed and a cushy couch, you may choose to sit on the floor. When sitting on the floor ensure that your wrists are not bent too far forward nor too far backward. You want your wrists as straight as possible with your forearms.
What if I have back pain from my chair, but I don’t want to buy a new one?
- Find a towel or blanket and roll it up. Then, sit all the way back in your chair and stuff the towel/blanket roll behind you into the small of your back. This will create greater support to your lumbar spine/low back. This will also promote better posture throughout the entirety of your spine while sitting.
As always, sitting in one position for too long is never good and will always lead to discomfort. Don’t forget to give yourself a break for water, snacks, the bathroom, or to simply stretch.
- Here’s a tip to ensure that you are getting up often enough: If you drink water or coffee or another beverage while working, drink it out of a smaller cup. This will act as a reminder to stand up and move a little bit before continuing to work.
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About the Author
Alison Alexander, DPT, earned her doctoral degree in Physical Therapy in 2018 from Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. Over the past year, she has pursued advanced training in the treatment of vestibular conditions such as vertigo (BPPV) and dizziness. In addition to her exceptional knowledge and training with vestibular conditions, Alison is well-versed in treating chronic pain and musculoskeletal conditions such as neck and back pain.
Still Curious About Chiropractic and Physical Therapy? We’d Love to Educate You.
Chiropractic medicine has countless benefits. To schedule a consultation or learn more about what this amazing branch of medicine can do for you, give Minneapolis Health and Wellness a call today at 612-750-7168.