Eight out of ten people will suffer from neck and low back pain at some point in their life. However, due to the increase of now having to work from home, many are suffering sooner than later. Here are some tips that will help you recover:
- Practice good posture. To lessen the risk of neck and low back pain, you must sit properly. I recommend sitting with elbows at 90 degrees, with wrists forming flat line with forearms. The back should be straight, and the top of the computer screen should be slightly below eye level; screen should tilt. Computer table should be adjustable in height. Chair should have a good back support, preferably adjustable. Seat bottom should be contoured with a rounded front edge. Knees should be at 90 degrees, with thighs parallel to the floor. Feet should be flat on the floor or, preferably, elevated slightly on a footrest.
- Ice, then heat. Remember, ice for the first 48 hours, then apply heat. Apply for no more than 15 minutes and allow for a 20-minute recovery period before the next application.
- Don’t stop moving. Exercises and stretches are instrumental in reducing muscle strain. I recommend that you walk around the house every half hour to reduce the risk of developing back, neck, and/or shoulder pain from sitting.
- Stand more. Sitting seems like an easy enough task, however it is hard on your posture. Try standing 30 minutes to an hour of the time you would otherwise be sitting.
- Limit use of mobile devices, especially when you are texting and returning emails. Often people tend to bend their heads forward when they use their cellphones or tablets. Prolonged episodes of the head-forward position can cause painful muscle strain and can contribute to more long-term conditions like disc or joint injuries. I recommend you bringing your device to you while maintain good posture or simply answering emails through a desktop computer rather than a phone.