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Work From Home Health Tips: Neck Pain


Working from home was a sudden and unexpected pivot in many of our lives and with this change has come unique challenges.

Many of our desk setups are very different from what they were in the office which has led to some aches and pains that we’ve never had before or exaggerated issues we already had. Here is the most common pain associated with working from home and what you can do to prevent it.

Lower neck to between the shoulder blade pain/recurring headaches: This pain or headaches are most likely caused by forward head posture or “tech neck”.

The average head weighs about 10 lbs. As we lean our head forward the stress at the base of our neck is increased by 10 lbs. for every 10 degrees we’re leaned forward. That’s a lot of stress on our necks and backs to be holding up 30-60 pounds for hours every day. This stress causes muscular imbalances that create the pain and headaches we’re experiencing.

The first step in remedying this issue is making sure your computer or workspace is not set too low below your eye level.

If you’re working on a laptop at a table or counter simply tilting the screen back and using your eyes to look down instead of bending your neck down to see can usually help. However; many of us are working at our couches or on our beds. In this scenario you would first want to elevate your workspace into your eye level. You can do this by placing your laptop up on some old textbooks or using a laptop lap desk device that usually has a thick cushion on the bottom and a hard flat surface on the other side to set your laptop on.

Next, you’ll want to make sure that you’re seated in as good of posture as you can be. This means have your butt all the way back in the seat, legs straight out in front (not criss-cross applesauce or one leg under the other), shoulders are relaxed, down, and back, and your head is in a neutral position over your shoulders. While in this position you’ll still want to focus on using your eyes to look down instead of bending you neck down or leaning forward. Besides these ergonomic changes you’re also going to want to strengthen your neck.

The Chin Tuck Exercise is a great exercise to strengthen the muscles that are stretched out and weakened “tech neck.”

To perform this exercise, you can be seated or standing, keep your chin parallel to the floor, gently move your head and chin backwards, without tilting your head. You should feel this stretch the back of your neck. Once you’re all the way back push up through the top of your head as if you’re being pulled towards the ceiling. Slowly let your head relax into normal posture and repeat for 20 repetitions 2 times a day.

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