Are You Experiencing Pain Whilst Working From Home?
For those working from home during Covid-19, worried about increased neck, back or sciatic like pain, we’ve got you covered!
We have put together a short list of the most common aches/pains that are experienced when working at home and provide useful tips on how to avoid these.
-First on the list is neck and shoulder tension.
This discomfort can often be attributed to incorrect monitor height, a protracted head and excessive stress carried within the muscles. To combat these stresses, we advise adjusting your screen so that the upper third of the monitor is directly in line with your eyes. If working from a laptop, raise the screen on a wedge-like support and use an adjacent keyboard if possible. Ensure that you are fully moving your neck every 30-45 minutes by looking side to side, up and down, and rotating to look behind you. Roll your shoulders forward and backward in circular motions also for up to 30 seconds each.
-Second is lower back pain.
Remaining sat in the same position for over 45 minutes can place excessive stress on the lumbar spine due to reduced activation of the spinal stabilisers (this places burden on your spinal discs). Furthermore, muscles such as your hip flexors remain in a shortened position and struggle lengthening when getting up. Ensure that for every 30-45 minutes you are sitting, you get up and walk around for one minute. Practice stretching by touching your toes, standing upright and extending your back with your hands on your hips and finally move into a lunge position to stretch those hip flexors. Hold each stretch for 3 lots of 25 seconds.
-Finally, desk related buttock and leg pain.
It is likely that your seat may be too hard for the gluteal muscles (which innervate the sciatic nerve). Practice sitting on a soft cushion that is not too firm or too tall. You’re also likely sitting on the muscle too long and putting excess pressure on it. For every 30-45 minutes sat, walk around for 1 minute, ensuring you take large strides to generate a stretch. Try the following exercises: standing back extensions (3×20 secs), single knee-to-chest hugs lying on your back (6 per leg, hold for 15 secs) and finally sit with a tennis ball under the buttock muscle, lift 20% of your weight off it with the other leg, and roll on it for 30 seconds (this should be a welcomed pain).
Desk based pain can be an un-needed excess worry during these difficult times. Complete the above suggested exercises and advice daily to ensure you remain on top of these issues and to prevent them from worsening.