Neck pain is one of the most common complaints we hear about from both returning and new customers; and now, with the majority of people predominantly working from home, we are hearing more complaints than ever before.
It’s simple – a shift in our environment affects our bodies more than you might expect. Sitting in a chair, at a desk, in an office is no longer the case for many of us; with a lot of people working with makeshift work stations and therefore poor posture.
Heightened restrictions due to COVID-19 also mean we are moving a lot less. We’re no longer travelling to and from work, and gyms are closed; meaning that some of us are moving much less than usual, leading to stiff, sore or painful necks.
What you might feel
Neck pain can present itself in various forms. You might simply experience a general stiffness from tight muscles around the area, you might have stiff joints, and you might also experience aggravated nerves passing through the neck.
Common symptoms of neck pain:
- Limited range of movement
- Muscular weakness
- Pins and needles
- Numbness or tingling past the shoulder and down the arm
What should you do if you experience neck pain?
Neck pain can progress so getting on top of it quickly is important. Letting it linger may cause long-lasting implications and can turn the small problem into a persistent one.
Ensuring your work-from-home setup is as ergonomic as possible, is one way to lessen any neck pain you might be feeling.
Tips for setting up your work-from-home desk:
- Invest in a comfortable and ergonomic chair that provides back support and promotes healthy postures
- Place your screen at eye level to avoid excessive forward head postures and excessive eye movements which may result in neck pain
- Ensure appropriate lighting in the room to prevent eye strain and glare on the screen
- Place the keyboard and mouse in front of you at elbow level so that your wrists are neutral and your elbows are resting at 90 degrees. If possible, place an extra padding in front of the keyboard and the mouse to ensure efficient wrist positioning and support
- Place your feet flat on the floor
Tips for working from home:
- Ensure you don’t stick to one posture for the whole working period! There is no perfect posture; your best posture is your next posture!
- Ensure you have a dedicated working space (i.e. not your kitchen table and chair)
- Take regular breaks that include gentle neck stretching and small walks to promote blood flow and change in postures
- If persisting, get your neck pain assessed by a trusted physiotherapist
At ISO Physiotherapy, we can diagnose the condition, provide pain management strategies, and develop an individualised and specific management plan that will allow you to work comfortably and continue participating in the activities you love doing.