Since the COVID-19 outbreak and the lock-down affecting us all, there has been a significant increase in the number of online consultations we’ve had relating to neck and upper back pain. Patients we’ve seen some time ago and have been pain-free since are now popping online and booking in with us. The common issue with those who are having neck and mid/upper back pain is their home work station.
You’ll be glad to know there are solutions that don’t involve converting your garage or spending £££’s installing a fully adjustable desk and chair to install in your makeshift office at home. If you are lucky enough to have a good workstation in a separate office room at home check out our home workstation setup guide.
Below are 5 points to help get the best out of what you have around you.
1/ Separating your keyboard from your laptop
The keyboard on a laptop encourages poor posture when in combination with an internal screen and at worst a track pad. If you use an external keyboard you can move your hands to a position that allows your arms to rest on the desk and your shoulders stay relaxed and down.
2/ Making your screen a monitor, not a gravity well
3/ Seats… not Sofas
Sitting on the sofa with your laptop on a stool may be good for your eye-line but wouldn’t get past an ergonomic assessment to put it lightly. They are really useful to fall back into when you want some brain space but a lack of good back support is the issue.
4/ Mice or Mouses
This one is simple… get one! Trackpads are horrid, they pull you away from sitting tall. The cable of the mouse is not there just to connect the two. Instead it gives you vital wiggle room to allow good posture and a good shoulder position.
5/ Home exercises – No one is watching
Use your new found isolation to do the exercises you didn’t want to do in front of your colleagues. Take those recommended breaks. Stretch and exercise your back, neck and shoulders to help keep pain away. For those working from home full-time you can still access our range of useful desk based exercises.
There is almost too much content online to choose from. So here are a few people I can recommend who can help cut through the shirtless wonders out there. They offer online support or have a library of exercises you can work through to fill those dull times:
Annie Celeste – Personal trainer and creator of QueerSpace
Chris Hallaways – Personal trainer and Calisthenics Expert – Co-founder of Corona Home Workouts
Now that you are fully informed of what to do, take action and setup your home workstation. All of what I have mentioned can be ordered online or be made from something you already have at home.
Check out this patient’s setup
Here is a great example from one of our patients who has been given a work laptop from her workplace. She bought a mouse and keyboard recently and we are loving her toilet roll use!
A great example of making the most out of what you have.
- Eyes are looking forward
- Screen is close (could be closer)
- Arms are by the sides
- Back is upright (thanks loo roll)
- Mouse to the side
While we are all in lock-down our team our still working from home via our online telehealth video platform. Find an appointment via our booking system and speak with us via your web-browser. You’d be surprised how much support we can offer virtually.
Let us know if you have any questions, the team and I would be very happy to help.
Check us out on Facebook, Instagram and our YouTube channel for tips, advice and exercises and get in contact via email@example.com.
Stay safe, fit and mobile
Kieran – Clinic Director, Principle Osteopath and Sports Rehabilitator