Simple Ways to Reduce Back & Neck Pain When Working From Home
If you’re one of the millions of Americans working through back and neck pain, you should know that there are plenty of proactive steps you can take to reduce discomfort and even prevent future issues. It’s simply a matter of taking action.
4 Pain-Reducing Tactics That Work
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, millions of American workers found themselves working from home for the first time. And while some have returned to the office, many are continuing to work from home indefinitely. In fact, the work from home movement (which was already well underway prior to 2020) is expected to continue growing over the next decade.
For all of the benefits that working from home offers, the reality is that most people aren’t adequately prepared to do so. They were thrown into the situation without much preparation. Unfortunately, this has created a number of issues with focus, productivity, and even physical health.
Most people aren’t accustomed to working out of a home office. As a result, doctors and chiropractors are reporting an abnormally high number of complaints when it comes to back and neck pain.
Sometimes back and neck pain requires surgical intervention or some other form of medical assistance. But in many cases, it’s possible to reduce or eliminate neck pain with a few simple tweaks to your workspace and daily work habits.
With this in mind, here are some suggestions that could help.
Ensure Proper Support
When sitting down in your office chair, you need to ensure your lower back is properly supported. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in this region, it’s possible that you aren’t getting the support you need.
The best option is to get a new chair that provides the necessary support. If you need a quick/temporary fix, roll up a sweatshirt or towel into a log shape. Place it in the small of your back between you and the chair. This will force you to sit up straighter, which will lessen the amount of pressure on your lower back.
Change Up Posture
Sitting down for long periods of time is not good for your health. Not only does it hurt circulation and blood flow, but it also puts unnecessary pressure on your back and spinal column.
“Your lumbar discs are subjected to 1.5 to 2 times the force they would be in a standing position,” Dr. Daniel Riew writes. “Also, a lot of people, when they are seated, tend to place their neck in a forward-leaning position with their chin protruding forward. When they stand up and place the monitor at eye level, they are less likely to do that.”
The key to reducing pressure on your back and staying healthy is to frequently change up your posture from sitting to standing. You can do this with a quality standing desk from a company like BTOD.com. Their Facebook page has pictures of different ways customers use standing desks in their home offices.
Take Regular Breaks
When you work in a traditional office, you get more movement than you realize. Simple things like walking from the parking lot to the building or from your office desk to the bathroom/breakroom add up. But when you work from home, you may only get a few hundred steps in all day. That needs to change!
Too much sedentary activity will catch up to you (regardless of whether you’re standing or sitting). Make it a point to take regular breaks throughout the day. If you live in a house, take a walk around the block. If you’re in an apartment, try climbing a few flights of stairs.
Did you know that the food you eat may impact your level of back and neck pain? It’s true! And if you want to beat back pain, you need to optimize your diet to reduce processed foods and increase the number of anti-inflammatory ingredients you put into your body.
For best results, consume a diet that’s high in berries, fatty fish, broccoli, avocados, green tea, peppers, mushrooms, grapes, tomatoes, and cherries.
Move Past Pain
Back and neck pain can be so debilitating that they impact your focus and productivity. Thus if you want to be the most successful version of yourself that you can possibly be, you need to find a way to move past pain and get healthy. Hopefully, this article has given you some useful suggestions!