Working from home for some seems like a great idea, it’s convenient, no traffic and you might not even have to get changed out of your pyjama bottoms! However, if you don’t have the right office set up or are not getting up and moving frequently throughout the day then its usually accompanied with neck/back pain as well as headaches.
Does the below picture look like you when sitting or standing at your desk? I bet it doesn’t! This below image makes us look like a robot only capable of using our limbs in 90 deg angles. However the closest you can get to these positions and maintain them the better. It takes practice and constant reminding, so don’t worry if you find this hard initially, for most of us it is.
As you can see, if you are using one monitor it is always best to have the monitor directly in front of you and not to one side. In the clinic, one of the main reasons why people have neck pain only on one side is because their monitor is positioned more to the left or right and this can create strain on the muscles and joints on either the ‘closing side’ (side that the neck is turned to) or ‘opening side’ (side that the neck is turned away from).
If you are suffering from headaches make sure you get your eyes assessed by your optometrist to assess for any need for glasses as this is also a common reason for headaches and one that I’m constantly reminding patients about. Looking at your body and pain as a whole is really important.
How often should you stand up and move around? Every 30mins is best. Even if that means standing up and making a coffee or doing some simple stretches. Below are some great ideas for quick and easy exercises which should help re-energise you and limit pain.
- Sit to stand squats to chair: Stand up and sit down in your office chair 10 x every 30mins
2. Chair hip flexor stretch. This is a good one if you are feeling tight into the lower back or hips. Hold for 30 seconds and do each side a couple of times every 30mins.
3. Upper trap stretch. This is a good one for neck pain and also headache management. Hold for 20 seconds, only pull down gently and do a couple on each side every 30mins.
4. I found this great sequence of chair yoga and loved it for managing upper and lower back pain. Hold each of these for 20 seconds and try to get through them every 30-60mins.
At this stage, Inspired Physiotherapy is still open for business and we are taking all the necessary precautions and are implementing the highest level of hygiene and sanitizing in the clinic. If you are suffering from back/neck pain or headaches we are more than happy to assist you. Please call the clinic today!