Does Working From Home Cause You Pain?

Contributed by Ira “Sam” Manalo, PT, DPT

Are you working from home? Due to the Coronavirus, more and more people are working from home and spending more time in front of the computer. Additionally, increased use of mobile devices have led to a decline in good posture and an increase in “Tech Neck”.

Do you experience?

  • Difficulty lifting your head after extended time looking down
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Pain radiating to one side of your neck, shoulder blade or arm
  • Weakness or numbness in your arm or hand
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain or clenching/grinding teeth

Poor posture causes rounding of the upper back and shoulders, forward head position and constricts the muscles in the front of your chest and shoulders. This type of posture can lead to numerous health problems, including musculoskeletal issues (disc herniation, chronic pain, arthritis), decreased lung function, poor digestion and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Don’t worry! Simple adjustments to your work station can help improve your posture drastically and decrease your risk of injury. Follow these easy steps to make your work station more ergonomically friendly:

  • Hips, knees, ankles, elbows should be bent to approximately 90 degrees. Wrists should be as straight as possible.
  • Position feet flat on the floor.
  • Monitor height should be at eye level for proper head/neck position.
  • Monitor should be at arm’s length to reduce eyestrain.
  • Chair should be adjustable with a backrest for lumbar support.
  • Keep a document holder directly in front of you for easy access.
  • Keep the keyboard flat and close to the edge of the desk to avoid increased strain at the wrists.
  • Maintain approximately two inches between the edge of the seat and the back of your knees to reduce compression of the sciatic nerve.

If you have symptoms of Tech Neck, contact Sam in our York, PA location at 717.430.0770. If you would like to contact a different Pivot location, please visit our locations page for additional details.