While working from home certainly has its perks, as many people are finding out, it also has its challenges. One challenge many workers are facing is neck, back, and shoulder pain. One survey found that 58% of workers noticed an increase in neck pain within 2 weeks of working from home during the 2020 lockdown.
Often caused by an incorrect home working setup, experts are worried we are heading for a real crisis with workers developing long-term health issues.
Here, we will look at why working from home can be a real pain in the neck and what you can do about it.
Why can working from home cause pain in the neck?
The main reason people are getting a bad neck and other pains working from home is because they don’t have a proper ergonomic setup. Neck, back, and shoulder pain can easily be caused by the following issues:
- An uncomfortable work chair
- The height of the chair in relation to the desk
- How often you take breaks
- The position of the monitor and computer
When you work in an office environment, the chairs provided are ergonomically designed. This means they support the lumbar region of the back. Investing in a chair that offers good lumbar support is essential if you are working from home long-term.
If the chair isn’t at the right height in relation to the desk, you will find yourself straining your neck when typing. Similarly, if the monitor isn’t at eye level, you can develop neck issues due to looking up or down at the screen.
What can I do to create a comfortable working environment?
If you want to minimise the risk of developing pain in the neck while you work, it’s imperative to create a comfortable working environment.
The first thing you should do is invest in comfortable, ergonomic furniture. If you are using a sit-down desk, make sure your chair is comfortable and designed with long-term use in mind. Also, make sure your monitor is at eye level to avoid straining the neck.
Taking regular breaks is advised, too, as neck and back issues can develop due to a lack of movement. Ideally, you should get up every 30 minutes to one hour. You don’t need to go far, just stretching and walking around a little is enough to refresh the brain and reduce the risk of neck pain. You could even consider a standing desk. However, standing for long periods without proper arm support can cause fatigue, so make sure you move regularly and do not get into a static position.
Seeking help for neck and back pain
If you have developed neck and back pain due to working from home, there are ways to find relief. Working from home can cause new aches in the lower back, neck, and upper limbs. However, it is likely to exacerbate previous back and neck pain, leading to suffering and poor function.
If you still have problems after adjusting your workstation and taking regular breaks, you can always consult Dr Ivanova-Stoilova. She will examine you and formulate a treatment plan which may include medication, injections, and physical therapy in the correct sequence and under her supervision.