Working from home tips – don’t slack on these basics!

This month marks just over 200 days since workers in the UK were told to abandon their offices and work from home.

Since then, I’ve seen a steady rise in the number of patients suffering from the associated problems working from home can have on our bodies.

Tech neck and back problems

From the perils of tech neck –the poor posture that is associated with hunching over screens. To lower back problems – which, according to current research, more than 80% of the UK population have or will encounter at some point in their lives.

We all know how critical it is to have a good workstation set-up. And most offices were equipped for this. But now many of us are in Tier 2 and we are once again being encouraged to work from home, I wanted to recap on what we should all be doing to avoid and limit the damage that poor ergonomics and posture can have on the human anatomy.

Working from home tips

  1. Invest in a good desk chair – ideally, this doesn’t mean your sofa or dining room chair Special desk chairs have been built with ergonomics in mind. Start by correctly adjusting the height of the chair so you can use your keyboard with your forearms straight and level with the floor. This can help prevent repetitive strain injuries. Plus, your elbows should be by the side of your body so your arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint.
  2. Check your posture – correct seating reduces the strain on muscles and ligaments. Sit upright and well back in the chair, shoulders in line with your hips and with your chin back. Ensure that your computer screen is at eye level. Or, if you’re standing, stand straight with your shoulders gently back and your chin tucked in.
  3. Take regular breaks from sitting – frequent short breaks are better than fewer long ones. Even if it’s to get up to get a glass of water or a cup of tea. Just make sure that when you return, you are in the correct seated position as mentioned above.
  4. Stay active – exercise is key for our mind and our body and it keeps our muscles flexible and joints mobile. While sitting for prolonged periods simple exercises, such as rolling your shoulders back gently or careful side-to side neck movements will help.
  5. Have a screen break – this means giving your eyes a rest from your computer screen as well as your phone, iPad and TV! Too much screen time can give you a headache.
  6. Stay hydrated – the discs between the vertebrae in the spine have a high water content so drinking plenty of water will ensure they and you stay hydrated.

If you’ve tried these tips but are still suffering from headaches, back niggles or neck and shoulder pain, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

As an Osteopath with many years’ experience, I’ve helped lots of people with back and neck issues.  Here’s a little more about how it works:

Lower back pain

Although its debilitating, Osteopathy can help with lower back pain.  The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence advises that manual therapy including osteopathy, acupuncture and a structured exercise program should be considered in the management of lower back pain.

At my Bromley and Orpington clinics, I work with electrotherapy, acupuncture and manual therapy in order to relieve pain and restore movement and function into the lower back area.

Treatment may also include manipulation, passive mobilisation of joints and soft tissue massage.

Neck pain

Manipulation, ultrasound, electrotherapy, soft tissue techniques and the spinulator – can all be used to help rid neck woes.

The manipulation of locked joints can free the neck and improve the range of movement in the neck.

According to a study conducted by The International Journal for Osteopathic Medicine, people with chronic or severe neck pain found that after a proper course of osteopathic treatment, they felt significantly less pain in the neck area and reductions were evident regardless of the chronicity of the pain.

Here’s what one kind patient had to say about working with me:

“It has been an absolute pleasure to have been treated by Denise for my back problem.  She is very understanding, puts you totally at ease during the treatments (a mixture of hands on and using machinery).  I am more than happy to say that for the first time in five weeks, I am pain free.

“I would not hesitate whatsoever in recommending Denise to any prospective patients who are suffering from any ailments in the body – Denise is highly efficient at what she does and I have no complaints.”

If you’ve got aches or pains that you’d like to discuss then please get in touch.

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