Working from home – a pain in the neck?

Practice Principal Chris Cameron treating a patient at the clinic

Neck pain is an extremely common complaint among desk workers and at Keperra Physiotherapy Clinic they have seen a large increase in neck pain and headaches with the move to working from home during COVID.  

Much of this is neck pain is associated with workstation set-up and a change in daily routine with zoom meetings meaning workers are moving around a lot less. Sustained static postures can overload the joints, discs and associated muscles in the neck and upper back. Poor posture increases the likelihood of pain.Headaches commonly occur as pain from the upper neck refers into the base of the skull, forehead and temple areas. 

As many of us will continue to work from home for at least part of the working week it’s important to consider what you can do to minimize the chances of postural neck pain and headaches. Here are a few tips below:

  • Use a good quality office chair with adequate lumbar (low back) support.
  • Ensure your workstation and monitor are at the correct height. When sitting upright your eyes should meet the monitor screen somewhere in its top one third. Your monitor should be approximately an arm’s length from you when sitting upright.
  • With your elbows by your side, your keyboard and mouse should be within easy reach. 
  • Check you posture regularly and correct if necessary. A computer reminder can be useful.
  • Take regular breaks from your workstation. Try to factor in some walks or tasks which take you away from your desk on a regular basis. 
  • Avoid using laptops for extended periods unless they are positioned appropriately using an ergonomic stand. 
  • Monitor your posture when using your tablet and smart phone.
  • Monitor stress levels. Many of us hold tension in our neck and upper back muscles, contributing to pain in this areIf you do develop neck pain or headaches the physiotherapists at Keperra Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic can provide effective relief with treatment of joint mobilisations to reduce joint stiffness, massage, dry needling, stretches and muscle releases to relieve muscular tightness.

    The team can also provide advice about work and lifestyle factors contributing to your pain, advice about your workstation set-up and an exercise routine to help ensure that your neck pain and headaches do not reoccur.

    Call 3855 1367 for more information.

 

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