The coronavirus pandemic has changed life in America, and one of the biggest and most universal changes is that a remarkable number of people are now working from home.
The adjustment has impacted both the way that we work and our family life, as workers in many industries try to find an appropriate spot in their home where they can be both productive and comfortable.
People are only now recognizing the advantages of the office furniture and set-up that they once took for granted, and while for some their new setups are just an inconvenience, for others it is introducing significant back and neck pain.
Whether you’ve previously suffered from back pain or your discomfort has only presented since you’ve been working from your couch, keeping yourself back pain free requires being aware of the space that you’re working in and adding some simple exercises.
Pay as much attention to the posture that you’re maintaining as you have to the background your colleagues will see on Zoom, and when you’re not on camera, take a few minutes each day to practice each of the exercises listed below. They require no special equipment and will make a real difference, strengthening your core and helping alleviate pressure on your spine:
- Set a time to stretch your body once an hour. Following these tips will give you the chance to address major body parts in minutes.
- Put your hands into the prayer position, palms together and fingers pointed up but with hands held at chest level and elbows pointing outward at the same level. Push together and hold for 15 seconds.
- Keeping your hands and arms in the same position, turn your right hand upside down so its fingers are pointing down, then move your hands slightly apart so that you can clasp your fingers together. Now pull both arms away from each other at that level, holding for 15 seconds.
- Put your fingers on your shoulder, right hand to right shoulder and left to left. Straighten your back with a slight forward arch, breathe in and roll your shoulders forward in increasingly large rotations for five seconds. Stop, exhale and reverse direction. Repeat three times.
- Sit in a chair with your hands resting on your thighs and feet flat on the ground. Straighten your back and bend your head forward, letting your chin rest on your chest. Arch your back like a cat, rolling your shoulders forward as you do so. Do not bend forward more than needed – you just want to feel a slight pull in your spine, and hold for 15 seconds, then slowly straighten up into an opposite arch, pushing your shoulder blades together as you do so. Hold for 15 seconds.
If your pain continues, contact our lower back pain specialty practice in New Jersey to see how we can help.