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How to avoid neck pain while working from home…

May 5, 2021

Suffering from some kind of neck pain is extremely common and, in most cases, not a surprise… that is because our neck has the very important job of bearing the weight of our heads 24/7.

Our necks contain flexible muscles that support the weight of our heads. These muscles can be injured and irritated from overuse and postural problems. Neck pain can also sometimes be attributed to worn joints or compressed nerves, but necktension typically refers to musclespasms or soft tissue injuries.

As strong as our necks are for being able to do this job for us, they are also very fragile and it does not take much to cause neck pain or injury. It can be as simple as a combination of the wrong sleeping position and posture which can cause us to have that persistent painful ache for days after.

The most common neck pain symptoms are:

  1. Muscle tightness or spasms
  2. Trouble moving your neck or head
  3. Headache radiating down towards the neck
  4. Pain that gets worse when you hold your head a certain way while working on a computer, driving, or doing other tasks

While all of these symptoms can happen at any time and are fairly common, the one that has affected us all massively through 2020 and 2021 is number 4. Now more than ever we are seeing a huge amount of people in our clinic suffering from neck pain due to new working from home routines.

Working at a desk is a common cause of neck pain, but it is made 10x worse for those who are working from home using improper desks and DIY home office work stations. Often because you accommodate to your workstation rather than the other way around. For instance, many people strain to see a computer monitor that is too far away, too low, too high, too small or too dim. This compromises good posture. The average human head weighs almost 12 pounds – the equivalent of a bowling ball! When your neck is bent to 45 degrees, your head exerts nearly 50 pounds of force on your neck. In addition to straining joints and muscles in your neck and shoulders, the pressure affects your breathing and mood.

To alleviate this stress, those now working from home should redesign your workspace to encourage well-aligned posture. There are many ways to improve the ergonomics — efficiency and comfort level — of a typical workstation.

  • Is your monitor positioned so that you can see it well without straining?
    • Raise or lower the monitor or your chair so your eyes are level with the top of the screen. If you wear bifocals, you may need to lower the monitor another 1 to 2 inches.
    • Move the monitor closer or farther away so that you can easily read the screen.
    • Increase the font size you use.
    • If using a laptop, link to a larger monitor.
  • Are your mouse and keyboard positioned so that you don’t have to reach up to use them?
    • Lower your desk height or raise your chair so that your forearms are parallel to the floor or pointed slightly downward and your wrists are not pointing either upward or downward.
  • Do you keep frequently used tools within close range to minimize reaching?
    • Keep your mouse nearby, and regularly change it from one side of your body to the other.
    • Use a headset if you talk on the phone frequently.
    • Find shortcut keys you can use while typing.
    • Use a document holder so that you don’t have to look down frequently.
  • Does your chair allow you to maintain the normal curves in your spine, such as the curve in your low back?
    • Raise or lower your chair so that you’re not sitting straight up at a 90-degree angle, but rather with a slightly reclined posture of 100 to 110 degrees.
  • When you’re seated, do your feet touch the ground?
    • Consider using a stool if you’ve elevated your chair and your feet no longer reach the ground.
    • Maintain a couple of inches between the back of your knees and the chair.
  • If your chair has armrests, do they allow your shoulders to relax?
    • Consider lowering or getting rid of the armrests so that your neck and shoulders can relax downward.

If you are experiencing still experiencing neck pain after applying these tips, then seeing a physiotherapist will enable you to recover quickly and get back to sports, work and the things you enjoy most.

How a physiotherapist can help

Assessment

We will ask you in detail about the symptoms and assess the biomechanics of how you move, your posture and the function of your muscles, joints and ligaments.

Diagnosis

We will then diagnose the cause of the neck pain; this may include identification of a number of factors which have contributed to the pain starting.

Treatment

We will formulate a treatment plan and discuss this with you. Treatments will first be targeted at reducing pain and then rehabilitation to maximise functioning of the affected area. Treatments may include:

  • Manual Therapy
  • Rehabilitative exercise
  • Acupuncture
  • Electrotherapy

To book in with us call us on: 0207 636 8845 or email us at: alo@alo-physiotherapy.co.uk

TESTIMONIALS

Recovering from a full Achilles rupture. Started my work with Nina in feb and my progress has only been positive and upwards and I am almost at full speed again. Nina put me back together again almost from scratch. She is the best physio I have ever worked with and will again. Very knowledgable and very hard working. Can’t recommend enough.

Bojan

What a great find! My orthopaedic surgeon recommended them and I can't rate Luigi, Gloria and the team more highly. Excellent service and very effective treatment- recovering nicely!

Justine

I am 84 years old, and have always been fit and healthy and exercised regularly. 3 years ago I underwent emergency surgery for peritonitis, and had a colonoscopy bag for 6 months and straight after surgery to reversal of the stoma. After this surgery I felt my legs very weak. To complete my drama, during the last summer I developed an abdominal hernia and had surgery for hernia repair. This made me even weaker specially at my legs. I have recovered but felt weak. I started my sessions at ALO Physiotherapy at the beginning of January, with the Vibra Machine combined with specific exercises. I have now recovered my body strength, particularly in the legs. I am now walking normally and without pain. I am delighted!

Barbara

Great clinic with great people! I was so lucky to find this clinic and even more when I met Andre. He's a very talented therapist and a wonderful person who makes you feel comfortable every time. He helped me to resolve my back problems in few appointments and I will be always grateful to him! From my experience is the best clinic in London and I highly recommend them without any doubts!

Daniele

One of the best physiotherapy centres in the world! The professionalism and knowledge of this centre amazed me.

Pierre

I am so glad I found this clinic. Luigi has been amazing. After my 1st session I felt an improvement and now have ALOT more movement and significant reduction in pain. I couldn’t recommend this clinic & Luigi enough. So helpful and flexible whenever I have needed to amend appointments. Every one is fantastic. I will continue to come here for as long as I need.

Mital

Andre is the best physiotherapist I came across. As a dedicated martial arts practitioner, I regularly use his services. He has always managed to fix my various back and leg injuries. I would recommend Alo Physiotherapy to anyone who suffers from body pain.

Thomas

Where do I begin? The journey has been too long with Andre Oliveira and ALO Clinic , as he helped me both physically and mentally to overcome an injury I had in both of my knees. A small injury , after following wrong treatment became chronic and I found myself unable to walk/stand/run and do the simplest things- the mental impact was worse. I was introduced to Andre by Eleftherios Pavlidis who runs Laertion in Athens. lefteris with his team were the first to accommodate the problem and told me what I need to do. As a Londoner, I was introduced to Andre and ALO Clinic, and the rest is history. Since February 2017 when I had the first session with Andre and he identified the biomechanic nature of the problem, along with the use of Tecar the results were visible after one month. Since then, along with personal effort and strengthening I did always guided by Andre, I the problem is restored and the pain is gone. I highly recommend ALO Physiotherapy Clinic , and Andre Oliveira for anyone who suffers from sport injuries , amateurs or professional top athletes.

Constantinos

Very professional staff and friendly environment. I felt a lot better after very first session. Appointment are easily available. I would definitely recommend this place

Muhammad

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