Hello Oshkosh! My name is Adam Mootz, and I’m a local chiropractor and strength and conditioning specialist here in Oshkosh. Originally from Necedah Wis., I obtained my Bachelor’s degree at UW-La Crosse before going on to receive my chiropractic degree at NWHSU.
I was asked to write about neck/back pain in the new work-from-home environment. Low back pain is already the leading cause of disability worldwide and due to COVID-19, this may only increase. Many employees are now work-from-home status in response to help keep our communities safer. Thanks to advancing technology, this can be a huge benefit. However, it has also represented new challenges. One of those challenges that we’ve seen in the clinic is the increased prevalence of neck/back pain! From working at the kitchen counter or living room couch, to not having the correct equipment, poor work setup is placing increased stress on your spine!
Here are some tips avoid spinal pitfalls:
Move before work- Typically people are walking to and from their cars to the building and within the office before settling in to work. Keep this same routine, Do some light stretching or exercise to get your body loose and warm, and ready for the day.
Correct ergonomic position- Most wonder what this looks like. At the computer you should be sitting at a height with your feet flat on the floor with both your knees and hips in a 90 degree position. Additionally, sit all the way back in your chair to sit as upright as possible while still having your back supported by the chair with your head over your shoulders. Lastly, have T-Rex arms! This means shoulders and elbows down and back keeping your keyboard/mouse close (elbows also at 90 degrees). Bonus: A sit/stand transition desk is optimal and even some employers will approve with a doctor’s referral.
Get up frequently- Now that you are in a great working position, get out of it! Once every hour, get up and move around for 5 minutes. Go to the bathroom, put a load of laundry in (hey you are home, take advantage), go for a walk, or go get a drink of water. Which leads to the next point!
Stay hydrated- Patients often tell me they are worse with drinking water at home. When muscles get dehydrated, they get tight and irritated. Half of your body weight in ounces daily!
Perform exercises daily- Having a daily proper exercise routine to combat the stressors from sitting/working at home will be huge to keep the injury bug away. Here’s a link to some of our favorite go to exercises!
Hopefully these are helpful and keep you all feeling fantastic!
Stay Healthy Friends, Adam Mootz, DC CSCS