The Pain of COVID: Working at home during a pandemic

*These blog posts are intended as education. If you are suffering from severe pain, please consult your physician to ensure your issues are not something more serious!

COVID has caused a lot of pain for many individuals and our country. Many businesses, especially in the beginning, shut down in person work attendance and encouraged employees to work from home as much as possible. This means employees sitting at their kitchen table typing on a laptop for eight hours a day. We have seen a significant increase in referrals just because of the pains associated with this.

In an office setting, a person may have multiple opportunities to get up from their desk for meetings or to grab something from the printer. Now, there’s no one to meet with and usually our printer is right next to our desk at home. At the office, we often have ergonomic desk chairs, desks that raise to standing height, a computer screen that is more at eye level and not at our finger tips. Of course, each person’s set up may look entirely different from the next person.

We want to help you prevent as much pain as possible while working from home, using whatever you have available and more knowledge!

TIP 1:

Get up from your desk/ makeshift desk every 20 mins or so and take a quick walk around the room. This will allow our hip flexors to stretch and not pull on our low back causing low back pain. Our glute muscles will also be activated, which can prevent buttock pain.

If you aren’t sitting at a desk or table to work, and you’re lounging on the sofa or worse, laid back in a recliner, stop that! It’s not giving your body the support it needs. If you want to work part of the day in the sofa, then chose two thirty minute slots to have this luxury.

TIP 2:

Posture, posture, posture. There’s so much that comes into play with posture. Poor posture can lead to back pain, herniated disc, shoulder pain, and neck pain. There are a few easy things you can do to help encourage good posture. When we sit at a desk, staring at a computer, we gravitate toward a forward head and shoulder posture. The following exercises can help adjust that poor posture. Perform these as often as you would like, but at least aim for midmorning, lunch, and afternoon. Do them 3 times for 5-10 reps.

First, shoulder blades back and down and a chin tuck.

Second, slump and extend to keep our back in correct alignment and curvature.

Third, pectoral stretch in the doorway or in a corner.

TIP 3:

Set your desk up to be as ergonomic as possible.

  • Bring the mouse and keyboard closer to your torso so that your elbows are more at a 90 degree angle.
  • Set your chair at a height that your knees are at a 90 degree angle. If doing this makes your desk too high, place text books or a short stool for your feet to rest on. This way you won’t have to lower your chair so much to achieve this 90 degree angle.
  • Keep your head level to avoid what the chiropractors call “text neck”. You can achieve this by setting your computer screen higher or on a text book. If you’re on a laptop, consider purchasing a bluetooth keyboard so you can place your laptop on a higher surface.

Hopefully these tips will help you out in this crazy time. If you still find yourself in pain and can not find relief, give us a call 256-325-2070.

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