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Three Work From Home Posture Problems I See as a Winnipeg Chiropractor

young woman working from home with back painStatistics Canada reported in June that 40% of the workforce is working-from-home (WFH). Some people have ergonomic chairs and desks that allow them to maintain proper posture. Others are working on their couch, slouched over or using non-ergonomic chairs that leave them with aches and pains.

As a chiropractor, I’m seeing a lot of easy-to-fix problems that can help you get through the day without aches or pains.

1. Soreness in the Neck and Shoulders

Maintaining proper posture is key to keeping your back, neck and shoulders from being achy or painful. When you’re sitting, try and keep your back straight and your neck, too. The main culprit is your monitor.

Hunching over is bad enough, but when you’re using your laptop or Chromebook and keep it in your lap, you’re putting excess strain on your neck.

Position your monitor or laptop slightly higher to keep your neck straight and avoid looking down. When you’re looking down toward the screen, you’re also rolling your shoulders forward, leading to shoulder pain.

Eventually, your neck and shoulders will tighten up.

Position the screen a few inches higher than your eyeline to avoid looking down. If you still have pain, gentle neck stretches can help. Prolonged looking down and hunching over can cause disc degeneration in your neck.

2. Hand and Wrist Pain

Most of our clients assume we only help with the spine. While we focus primarily on the spine, we can also adjust the wrist. When people are in front of their screens, they’re typing away.

Carpel tunnel symptoms are common, with people experiencing pain in their wrists and fingers.

There are special mouse pads that can support and put the wrist into a neutral position. You can also:

Hand stretches should move your wrist up, not downward. Stress balls don’t offer much help here because you’re not getting the stretch your fingers and wrists need.

3. Back Pain and Pressure on the Spine

Sitting for prolonged periods of time has a lot of people experiencing pain in the base of their spine and middle of their back. It’s important to keep your back straight and really focus on your posture. Avoid hunching over or slouching.

Removing pressure on your lumbar spine is key. When you’re at work, you’re getting up for breaks, meetings or to talk to colleagues. At home, it’s important to try and get up more often.

Incorporate breaks into the day, work in different rooms or spaces, and if you can, try using a sit-to-stand desk. Exercise and any physical activity that you can add into your day will help. If you can find the time, brisk walks during the day can also relieve the pressure on the base of the spine.

If you follow these tips and are still feeling discomfort or pain, it may be time to schedule an appointment with us. Working from home is here to stay – at least for now – so it’s important to correct these small issues before they lead to long-term pain.

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