Working from Home
Are you spending more time on your laptop in the comfort of your home? Many of us now do. With social and physical distancing rules in place, you may be working and studying from home.
You probably know that slouching for long periods of time can hurt your neck. It can cause shoulders to feel pain too. When you slouch, you curve your midback, placing your shoulder blades further apart and causing your shoulders to rotate in.
Slouching effect on your shoulders
The pulled apart posture of your shoulder blades creates a stretch for the muscles of your shoulder blades. These muscles are important in the proper function of your shoulders. They don't need to do much when your arms are at your sides, but they do when you're moving your arms. Stretched postures puts them in a weaker position and places a greater load on your shoulder muscles.
Slouched posture and your neck and back
This slouched posture pulls you out of alignment and place a greater load on the muscles of your back and neck. The more they have to work, the more they create an aching and burning feeling to the muscles of your neck and back.
This can create pain by putting your rotator cuff muscles on stretch. It can also lead to compression of your rotator cuff tendons, causing pain and inflammation of the tendons with movement.
That doesn’t sound good, but what can you do to avoid this?
- As difficult as it is, do NOT use your laptop on the couch or in bed
- Invest a bit of time to set up a proper home work station
- If you can, use a docking station and have a separate keyboard, screen and mouse
- If you don’t have a separate screen, then place your laptop up to your eye level and use a separate keyboard and mouse so that you’re not hunching over, looking down and having your forearms unsupported
- If you must use your laptop, as its name indicates, on your “lap”, then place a cushion underneath it, tilt the screen back to avoid looking down and support your arms with pillows under your elbows
- Take stretch breaks every 30 minutes
If changing your home work station isn’t enough to resolve your symptoms, our team of physiotherapists is also working from home and can help you. They can help reduce your muscle tension and teach you how to do the same.