Is Working From Home a Pain in Your Neck?


Is Working From Home a Pain in Your Neck?

Do you find yourself massaging the back of your neck after a long workday? Learn about the ways working at home can put a strain on your neck and shoulders and find out how you can prevent and treat it.

Do you often massage the back of your neck after a long day in front of the computer? Unfortunately, the comfort of being able to work from your pajamas can come at a cost: neck pain. 

Here, the causes of and the solutions to your neck problems are explained below by Dr. Aashish Jay Kumar, our expert at Spine & Pain Specialists of the Carolinas, located in Charlotte, North Carolina.

How your home workstation can cause neck problems 

Working from an office can cause neck problems too. However, working from home can aggravate these issues, as most people don’t use ergonomic office chairs and desks. Here are some tips to improve your neck pain while working at home.

Elbows are below desk height 

When your elbows are lower than the height of the desk, you're forced to compensate by extending your arms forward to reach the keyboard and raising your shoulders. That puts more pressure on your upper spine. 

To fix this, buy an adjustable chair that allows you to adjust the height so your elbows can be at the same level as your desk.

Poor posture 

The ideal posture for sitting at a desk is leaning back at a 100-degree angle and keeping your hips and ankles at a 90-degree angle. If you lean back too much, you’ll put stress on your lower back and shoulders because you’ll need to extend your arms to reach out for the keyboard.

If you’re short, and your feet don’t touch the ground when sitting on an office chair, put a book or a block underneath your feet to ensure that you sit with your legs at a 90-degree angle. 

Monitor too far away or set too low 

Extend your arm, and if you can barely touch your monitor, you’ve found the ideal distance for your vision and posture.

If the monitor is too far away, you’re going to lean forward, and if the monitor isn’t at eye level, you’ll spend hours looking down at it. Either way, you’ll put unnecessary stress on your neck and shoulders. 

Treating a painful neck 

Based on your symptoms, Dr. Kumar can recommend treatments to manage the pain (e.g., medications, steroid injections, and electrical nerve stimulation), along with strategies to prevent pain from recurring. 

Often, neck pain occurs in individuals with weak core muscles. Therefore, strengthening those muscles can reduce strain on the neck. You can learn how to strengthen your body by enrolling in physical therapy. 

If your neck is causing pain, contact us to schedule an appointment at our office in Charlotte, North Carolina. You’ll get all the support you need to lessen your symptoms and fully enjoy the benefits of working from home.