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Is Working From Home a Pain in Your Neck?

Is Working From Home a Pain in Your Neck?

Congratulations, if you’re among the millions celebrating your move from a traditional office setting to a remote work environment!

Unfortunately, although the convenience of working from home has numerous advantages, it can also create new problems. One of the most common challenges for remote workers is new or worsening neck pain.

Pamela V. Ford, DC, at Serenity Chiropractic & Family Wellness Center in Carrollton, Texas, is skilled in chiropractic care and physical therapy. One of Dr. Ford’s many specialties includes improving ergonomics at home and in the workplace.

Dr. Ford is happy to offer her professional insight into why work-from-home jobs often contribute to neck pain, give you tips for alleviating your discomfort, and explain how chiropractic care can help.

How does working from home cause neck pain?

Many issues can trigger neck pain when you work from home, including your workstation setup, screen time, lack of movement, and mental stress.

Workstation setup

An improper workstation setup in a home office is one of the main contributors to neck pain. Unlike dedicated office spaces, many individuals make do with makeshift workstations at home, such as working from the couch or bed.

These creative setups often lack the ergonomic features necessary to maintain proper posture and prevent strain on the neck and back. Investing in a comfortable chair, adjustable desk, and ergonomic accessories like a monitor stand or keyboard tray can significantly improve your posture and reduce neck pain.

Screen time

Working remotely often means spending extended periods in front of a computer or laptop screen.

Constantly focusing on a screen can lead to eye strain, indirectly contributing to neck pain. For instance, when your eyes are fatigued, you may unknowingly adopt poor neck posture to improve your view of the screen, causing discomfort and stiffness.

To combat this, follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away. Additionally, adjusting your screen height and using proper lighting can help reduce eye strain and subsequently alleviate neck pain.

Lack of movement

Working from home can inadvertently lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. You may spend long hours sitting in one position without the need to commute or move around an office space.

Prolonged sitting affects overall health and can result in muscle stiffness and tension, including the neck muscles.

Incorporating regular breaks and stretching exercises into your work routine can help relieve tension, improve blood circulation, and reduce neck pain. Simple activities like taking short walks, doing neck stretches, and practicing relaxation techniques can make a significant difference.

Mental stress

While not directly related to physical posture, it’s worth mentioning that stress and mental well-being can impact physical health. Unless you’re careful, working from home means you never leave your job at the office where it belongs.

This can create higher stress levels that often manifest physically, leading to muscle tension and discomfort in the neck region. Prioritizing self-care, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and engaging in stress-reducing activities like meditation, yoga, or other hobbies you enjoy can help alleviate both mental and physical strain.

How can chiropractic care help with neck pain related to remote work?

At Serenity Chiropractic & Family Wellness Center, Dr. Ford starts with a thorough physical assessment and detailed discussion of your work habits, home workstation setup, and other factors that may be contributing to your neck pain.

She then develops an individualized treatment plan that may include gentle spinal manipulation, massage, and specific exercises to improve strength and restore flexibility in the muscles supporting your neck, upper back, and shoulders.

She also reviews your workspace ergonomics, offering guidance on improving your space and posture to help relieve neck strain and reduce your risk of future problems.

Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Ford at Serenity Chiropractic & Family Wellness for customized care focused on making positive changes in your spinal alignment and overall well-being. Call our office today or book a visit online. 

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