EXPERIENCING BACK PAIN FROM WORKING AT HOME IN LONGMONT AND ERIE?
Many patients seek chiropractic help because they experience pain in their back, neck, and shoulders. Unfortunately, while working from home has its benefits, it creates issues for people’s long-term health. The doctors at the Chiropractic Center of Erie and the Chiropractic Center of Longmont noticed a large uptick in patients complaining of pain and discomfort since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This pain stems from poor ergonomic habits created due to the quick adaptation to working from home. We decided to provide some key tips for teaching patients how to prevent back pain while working from home in Erie and Longmont.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO PREVENT BACK PAIN WHILE WORKING FROM HOME?
This answer shocks many patients because of its simplicity. Incorrect posture creates debilitating musculoskeletal injuries. These injuries, if left untreated, can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, blood flow issues including deep vein thrombosis, and in extreme cases nerve damage. Don’t let these things cause added stress to working from home, take some time to read through these steps below to create a healthier working environment within your home. Whether you’re working from home part-time due to the pandemic, or working from home full-time, these tips are sure to save you pain and potentially costly medical bills.
Keep your neck straight as often as possible when viewing your computer screen or documents
A comfortable height for your computer screen provides much-needed relief for the muscles in your neck. You should not need to look up or down to view your computer screen from your desk. Raise your monitors off your desk by purchasing a device that can be adjusted to any height from sitting to standing or more frugally approach such as stacking them on books, cardboard boxes, or other household items (keeping safety and balance in mind of course). Documents can be placed on a stand to help keep them at eye level without the need to hunch over your desk to view them. Also, avoid working with your laptop actually in your lap. Laptops were designed for work to be completed quickly between more permanent setups. Whenever possible, your computer should be placed on a flat surface and at a distance that keeps you from hunching to view the screen.
Place your keyboard and mouse at a comfortable height in front of you
People would do well to consider following the guidelines laid out by ANSI for the best ergonomic typing position. It requires your keyboard and mouse to be roughly at the height of your elbows. They should be close enough to your body that you don’t have to reach too far for them. Your back should be able to remain against the back of your chair while typing and using your mouse.
Sit all the way back in your chair
Your lower back naturally curves toward the front of your body. This is called lordosis, the most relaxed posture for the lower back. This position puts the least pressure on the discs in your spine. When you lean forward, the lumbar spine bends out, called kyphosis, placing added pressure on the lumbar discs. This means people should sit in a way that allows the natural lordotic curve to be supported. Many people find it’s worth investing in a comfortable ergonomic office chair if they will be working from home for a long stretch of time. If this isn’t in your budget, try sticking a pillow or rolled-up towel behind your lower back. It’s not as effective as a new chair, but provides some additional support.
Rest your feet flat on the ground while working
People who let their feet dangle freely from their chairs, cross their legs or who tuck their feet under them created added pressure under their thighs. This might not sound like a problem at first, but this posture can lead to DVT or deep vein thrombosis from lack of blood flow to your lower legs not too mention the misalignment created in the pelvis and lower back. DVT can be particularly dangerous because it causes blood clots. These clots, if left untreated, can be potentially fatal if they travel through the body and obstruct the heart’s ability to pump blood. If your feet don’t reach the floor, consider a pile of books, boxes, or another type of footrest that keeps your feet flat on the floor.
Don’t stand too long in front of your computer
Standing desks have grown drastically in popularity since the start of the pandemic. They appear to be a great option for people not used to the sedentary lifestyle of working at a desk. While standing desks offer many benefits, they also have some lesser-known drawbacks. Standing for prolonged periods of time causes more harm to your body than constant motion throughout the day. Standing still and typing adds more pressure to your lower legs and causes more stress on your circulatory system. Take a break and walk around every 20-30 minutes and alternate sitting and standing throughout the day to ensure your muscles get the rest they need.
SUMMARY – HOW TO PREVENT BACK PAIN WHILE WORKING FROM HOME IN ERIE AND LONGMONT
The Chiropractic Center of Erie and Chiropractic Center of Longmont recommend following these five simple tips for improving your working from home environment! While these are great tips and will help keep your body feeling better for longer, our experts still recommend maintaining regular visits to the chiropractor. These maintenance visits will help ensure the long-term health of your back, neck, and shoulders. These visits become increasingly important for those with a sedentary lifestyle and working from home. Contact us to schedule your next chiropractic visit today and ask for more advice on setting up your home office! If you’d like to learn more about treatments or have questions about what to expect during your first chiropractor visit in Erie or Longmont, call our office today. We will gladly answer any questions, give us a call at 303-828-3000 or 303-772-1950!