Indeed, the work from home arrangement has contributed to reducing the spread of coronavirus. It has also ushered in a new era for people who prefer telecommuting over the old-school approach. However, it’s no secret that the current work setup has created a new set of problems, including stress, neck pain, and back pain.
According to MIT, nearly 34 percent of commuters from all over the USA have now turned to the WFH setup. Additionally, 15 percent have been working remotely even before the pandemic hit the country. This could imply that about half of the working population may be suffering from back, shoulder, and neck pains.
If you’re among the millions of American workers struggling with WFH stress neck pain, and other health problems, the short guide below may help you cope better.
WFH and Stress Neck Pain and Back Pain
Neck pain frequently is among the first health concerns that WFH professionals experience during the pandemic. It’s also one of the leading reasons for visits to upper cervical chiropractic clinics. This is mostly because not every home office setup comes with ergonomic chairs or furniture. Most of the time, make-shift workspaces like kitchen tables or bedside desks make it quite uncomfortable to work for extended hours. They affect the sitting posture and cause muscle spasms, especially on the neck, shoulders, and back.
People nowadays spend more hours on their mobile devices to access information about the pandemic, connect with loved ones, and work on their usual tasks. Unfortunately, this upward trend in mobile device use also contributes to WFH neck pain.
The lack of workout options also contributes to the problem. Notably, exercise comes in extra handy in treating or managing chronic pain. It helps you deal with inflammation, boosts muscle strength and vitality, and decreases your pain sensitivity. With the limited options for WFH professionals during this pandemic, it becomes harder to deal with muscle pain.
Unfortunately, besides causing stress neck pain that radiates to the lower back and the extremities, the current remote working setup may also exacerbate some pre-existing health problems. For example, if you have a history of whiplash or neck injury, prolonged sitting could worsen cervical bone misalignment. It can also potentially trigger more debilitating problems.
Coping with Neck Pain and Other Health Problems
Fortunately, you have several options when it comes to relieving stress neck pain. Some are specifically designed to work quickly but provide short-term relief. Others, on one hand, tend to deliver a gradual improvement of the condition but would require a series of applications or procedures.
You can check out the common remedies used for neck pain and spasm below:
OTC pain reliever
Pain medications like NSAIDs tend to provide the quickest relief. However, the effects also tend to wear out fast. It would be best to ask your doctor about the best dosage to use to manage your pain.
A gentle massage from a therapist can help you ease the tension on the neck muscles and joints. If you seek help from professional therapists, you can maximize the benefits of massage because they’ll know exactly which points need more attention.
It’s always a good idea to utilize an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain. Injured athletes, patients who have arthritis, and many other folks choose cold compresses as their go-to pain remedy. Thankfully, because you’re working from home, you can apply a cold compress on your neck in between your shift. You can use the compress repeatedly on the affected area. However, take note that you shouldn’t leave the ice pack on for more than 15 minutes. Otherwise, you might end up with an ice burn.
As a rule of thumb, you should only use a hot compress for stress neck pain after the swelling subsides. Otherwise, it would only promote blood circulation and eventually increase swelling in the painful area. When you’re ready to use heat therapy, we recommend doing a few gentle stretching exercises to release tension and promote faster healing.
Investing in better workspace furniture
Most likely, the WFH setup will carry on even after the pandemic fully settles. So, you should definitely consider investing in good-quality furnishing for your home office. Try finding ergonomic chairs and desks. It would also help to elevate your monitor or laptop screen, so your eyes hit the screen with more ease.
WFH Neck pain and Upper Cervical Care
Besides the four remedies listed above, you can also seek upper cervical adjustment. Most likely, your neck pain stems from misaligned cervical bones. If you recently had an injury to your neck and have a poor posture due to your new WFH setup, then you might see massive improvements in your condition after a few spinal adjustments.
The process itself is pretty gentle and precise. Your upper cervical chiropractor will assess the degree of neck bone subluxation. This way, they can determine how much pressure they need to use and where they should adjust.
Many case studies attest to the effectiveness of using this approach to remedy neck pain. And while there aren’t enough studies on WFH-related neck pain, upper cervical care remains a worthy option if you want something long-lasting and all-natural.
Have you been suffering from stress neck pain because of WFH arrangements? Get help from a local upper cervical chiropractor. Book your appointment or inquire about the procedure today!