NGP Shares your goal to optimise your health and be the best you can be.

Physiotherapy clinic conveniently located on the border of Warwick and Greenwood
physiotherapy for back pain

Back Pain

Why working from home could be the culprit

Ask anyone with back pain and they’ll agree, back pain can be both life-changing and debilitating. In these pandemic times, more and more computer-bound services are being conducted from working from home environments. This allows for a safer workspace, a better work/life balance and a bit more flexibility when working around home-schooling and zoom calls. However, when it comes to back pain, working from home could be the culprit. Let’s find out why…

The issue we face as a population working from home is that our home office may not be set up for long-term use. Most of the population were forced to work from their home office without warning, and we may be getting by with what we’ve got. But it’s important to address the issues caused by our home office set-up to avoid injury and pain. We briefly touched on this in our recent blog: Setting up your home office but when it comes to back pain specifically, we wanted to dive a little deeper!

Back pain at your desk: Why does it happen?

When sitting for long periods (potentially in an unsupportive chair), your spine’s natural ‘S’ curve can morph into a ‘C’ curve. This puts unnecessary stress and pressure on both the spine, the muscles that support it and the ligaments, tissues and nerves that surround it. Alongside this, when seated in one position for an extended period, the body can become rigid and tense, holding tension in various areas of the neck, shoulders and back.

How to combat back pain

The first step to overcoming back pain while working from home is to acknowledge the issue and take the necessary steps to remedy it. Write the following down on a post-it note by your computer screen as a friendly reminder to check throughout the day:

  • Check your posture: Ensure you are sitting upright with both feet on the floor, your arms resting comfortably at 90-degrees on the desk in front of your and your head should be looking straight ahead. It is important to remember that your ears should be aligned with your shoulders (not in front) and your back should be supported by your chair, using a small pillow behind you.
  • Double check your working from home set-up: Reference our blog on how to set up your home office correctly to avoid unnecessary pain.
  • Movement is medicine: Every 30 minutes, stand up and move your body. It could be a 1-minute stretching sequence, a walk to the kitchen to get a coffee, a toilet break. Whatever you need to do, make sure you move your body at regular intervals to avoid pain when working from home. We recommend a mix of postural stretches such as shoulder rolls, neck tucks, and neck/shoulder stretches as well as some low-impact star jumps and squats to get the blood pumping throughout the entire body.
  • Strengthen your body: Your back can become overactive and tense, supporting the weight of your torso as you remain seated during the workday. Ways to combat this would be to strengthen the supporting muscles to take the pressure off the muscles of the back. Focus on your core and glutes as a starting point, with exercises such as planks and glute bridges. If in doubt, please contact us first for a program.

If you notice back pain while working from home, contact us here at the clinic today, on (08) 9203 7771. With the right treatment plan in place, you can say goodbye to back pain and continue to enjoy working from home.
 Click here to book your appointment on our website to get started today.