In the last few years, many working adults around the United States have found benefits in working from home, teleworking, telecommuting, and working flextime. More and more families have a home office set up for work-from-home time.
Working from home can make it easier to manage your household schedule, get into slow-cooking dishes, and save money on your commute. But there’s one hidden downside that few working adults in the US likely thought about when transitioning to working from home — the increased risk of neck pain, back pain, and headaches!
At Performance Pain and Sports Medicine, our team of orthopedic experts, physical therapists, and chiropractors, under the leadership of Dr. Suzanne Manzi and Dr. Matthias Wiederholz, can help you understand how your work-from-home habits could be contributing to your neck pain, and step in with adjustments to make your life smoother, easier, and more pain-free.
Understanding neck pain
Your neck is made up of many complex, small parts that have to work together to keep you flexible and free from pain. Small bones called vertebrae form your spine. The section of the spine that forms your neck contains your cervical vertebrae.
In between vertebrae, small discs provide cushioning and support, allowing your neck to move, turn, and bend with flexibility. Your neck also contains tiny nerve fibers that send sensory information to your brain. And, your neck, back, and shoulders are supported by muscles including your deltoids and trapezius.
Issues with any of these elements can result in neck pain. Strained muscles, pinched nerves, slipped discs, or damaged vertebrae all cause you to feel pain in your neck, potentially radiating into your back, shoulders, arms, or head. And neck pain makes it really challenging to get your work done, manage your household, and have energy left to enjoy the rest of your life.
How working from home can hurt your neck
You might not have noticed much of an issue around neck pain in your life before you started working from home. So what gives? How does working from home put you at more risk of neck pain?
For one thing, you might be using a more informal setup that doesn’t work as well to support your spine and neck as a chair and desk purchased with input from an HR and legal department.
If you’re hunching over a laptop at your kitchen table, or working from your couch for hours at a time, you could be putting pressure on delicate components of your neck, resulting in stress and pain.
In order to reduce your neck pain, you might need to change where you work, or adjust your posture when working. You might also benefit from regular stretch breaks and helpful exercises to release tension from your neck and stretch out your back, neck, and shoulder muscles.
Treating your neck pain
The Performance Pain and Sports Medicine team has the expertise in neck pain management and treatment that you can trust to get you back on track. We recommend the best combination of lifestyle changes, workspace adjustments, and pain management treatments for you.
We offer fully comprehensive rehabilitation care, as well as advanced regenerative medicine treatment options. Schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable providers today by calling our location most convenient to you — Lawrenceville and Raritan, New Jersey, or Houston, Texas. Or request an appointment online.