• Lionel Pannunzio PT / SCS

Working from Home can cause neck and low back issues...

With the current situation with Covid-19 people have been working from home more and more.

Usually these people work from a laptop, tablet or their phones which creates unwanted postures in the neck and lower back which sustained for long period of times can translate into pain in these areas, sometimes severe.


In this Blog you will learn how to properly set up your Home Office Desk and what things you can do to prevent or improve neck or low back pain.



Home Office Desk - Set up



CORRECT SITTING POSTURE


Having healthy posture habits prevent common neck, shoulder and back problems and also improve your mood and energy throughout the day.



Here are some quick tips to help make sitting in front of a computer more comfortable


1️⃣ Keep your monitor at eye level, and place your keyboard close to your body.

2️⃣ Sit in a chair with back support to avoid slumping

3️⃣ Make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground, or use a footstool if your feet don’t reach the ground

4️⃣ If possible, use a desk that can be converted to a standing desk to lessen the strain on your spine



Here are some quick tips to help make talking on the phone comfortable:


1️⃣Avoid tilting your head or holding a phone between your ear and shoulder

2️⃣Use a headset or headphones when possible to keep your head in a neutral position.

3️⃣Use a speakerphone when able to avoid tilting your neck




Here are some quick tips to improve your posture while texting:


1️⃣ Try to keep your phone screen at eye level to avoid bending your neck

2️⃣ Keep your neck relaxed and avoid shrugging your shoulders

3️⃣ Use your index finger to prevent overuse of your thumb



Home Office - Healthy Habits


Having healthy posture habits prevent common neck, shoulder and back problems and also improve your mood and energy throughout the day.


Here are some quick tips to help make sitting in front of a computer more comfortable:

  • Keep your muscles loose by taking standing or walking breaks every 30-45 minutes

  • When possible, give your eyes a rest by looking away from your computer every 20 minutes and focusing on a distant object



Home-Office Syndrome


If you did not pay attention at the recommendations we enumerated above, you'll develop pain in your neck or low back which can be severe at times. This is called Home-Office Syndrome: pain in these areas ( lateral elbow, wrist, Carpal Tunnel as well ) created by prolonged unwanted posture.

Definition


Home-Office Syndrome is pain and soreness in the spine or muscles caused by sitting or remaining in the same position for long periods of time, mainly while working on the computer in an office setting.


This pain and soreness, which might seem ordinary at first, can result in chronic pain, intervertebral disc disease and abnormalities in the spine. Your posture and your ability to function or move normally can be affected.


What are the symptoms?


Many symptoms of Office Syndrome do not seem drastic at first, but when left untreated  can become serious. Some patients are not able to lift or turn their heads.


The most common and early symptoms of Office Syndrome include the following


🤯 Headache

👁 Soreness around the eyes

🗣 Neck ache

😖 Dizziness

👉🏼 Chronic muscle pain

🦶🏻 Numbness in wrists or feet

👉🏼 Backache

👉🏼 Aching and tightness in shoulders



How to combat Home-office Syndrome?


  • Change your sitting or working position every twenty or thirty minutes

  • Stretch the muscles in your arms, hands, wrists and legs every hour.

  • Get up and walk around. There are also basic exercise routines you can do to help loosen your muscles and create some movement.

  • Make sure your wrists are in a straight position; do not bend or twist them too often

  • Give your eyes a rest from the computer every ten minutes

  • Sit with a straight posture.Do not sit on the edge of your seat

  • Set your computer and keyboard facing you.The screen should be a little over your eyeline

  • There should be a lot of space for you to use the mouse and move your arms

  • The computer should be an arms-length away from you




Videos


1. How to turn your regular chair and table into a more comfortable and ergonomic set up without investing in any office furniture



If you are having neck pain or Low back pain while sitting at home working try to modify these postures by elevating the screen to your eye level.


Another option is to bring the laptop all the way to allow you work in standing .


Try these changes throughout the day and stay away from being in the same position for too long.





2. Neck Pain Exercises for Home-Office Syndrome


Chin Tucks

Gently nod you hear to straighten your neck .


Thoracic Extension

Our mid back rounds excessively while working on the computer

This is a great exercise to go in the opposite direction of this bad position .


Pectoralis Muscle Stretch

This rounded posture we adopt while working at home makes the chest muscles to retract and stiffen “ locking “ this bad posture of forward head and round shoulders.

An excellent way to fight this posture is by stretching and moving the front of your chest with these Pec Stretch exercises




3. Lower Back Exercises for Home-Office Syndrome


Hip Flexor stretch

Stand up with one foot on the computer chair and stretch your tight hip muscles


Thoracic Extension

Our mid back rounds excessively while working on the computer

This is a great exercise to go in the opposite direction of this bad position


Cat - Camel Mobility workout

This rounded posture we adopt while working at home makes the back muscles to retract and stiffen “ locking “ this bad posture .

An excellent way to fight this posture is by stretching and moving the Lumbar spine and thoracic spine with this exercise





Conclusion


  • You cannot spend too many hours in a "bad posture" because after a few week of doing this you will develop neck mid or low back pain from staying in this bad posture for too long. Ever more, if you do not take care of this condition, it can progress to a more severe pain with tingling, numbness in your legs or hands.


  • Set up your desk properly like we showed you here


  • Move, Move and Move : interrupt your working activities frequently and do active breaks, moving your body in the opposite direction of the posture you sustain at your desk station. There are some very good exercises in these post that you should do.




Lionel Pannunzio is a Physical Therapist Certified in Sports Injuries. With more than 20 years of experience helping athletes return to their sports after an injury. He is the Owner of White Bay Sports Physical Therapy and Fitness, conveniently located  in the beautiful City of Weston,  where he treats Soccer Player, Runners and Athletes of all ages

Finally we would like to invite you to follow us  at our:

Facebook Page

Google Plus Page

Instagram Page

where you will receive information about your condition and other services we offer, always with the idea of keeping you healthy and fit to enjoy your favorite sport.

Lionel Pannunzio

Physical Therapist

Board-Certified Sports Specialist

Owner of White Bay Physical Therapy

“Keeping Athletes in the game”



4 views
Get Started Is Simple
One phone call it takes to schedule your appointment.

CALL US:

Or to ask questions and to see if our treatment approach is right for you, just send us a message below

© 2016 by White Bay P.T. Inc. Proudly created with Wix.com

Thanks for submitting!