Alleviate pain with an ergonomic workspace at home

Press Staff Writer

        Working remotely can provide the comforts of home, but it can also cause discomfort in your head, neck and wrists if you’re not careful.
        Drew Schwartz, DC, chiropractor for Cleveland Clinic, said to help prevent that, first make sure you are sitting in your chair properly.
        “Sitting with our back all the way to the back rest and having that at 100/110 degrees is so much better than sitting straight up because it offloads the discs, the facets, and it takes a lot of the strain off those paraspinal muscles, or like the big meaty muscles of the back that hold us up all day,” said Dr. Schwartz.
        While you may be comfy on your couch or working out of bed, these provide no support and doing so may leave you feeling tight, stiff or achy.
        In addition, a poor workspace may cause numbness or tingling in the hands, even headaches by the end of the day.
        For overall work performance, Dr. Schwartz said look for a chair that is highly adjustable and has a mesh back for breathability. He said it’s important the chair fits you. And if you are shorter, get a footrest.
        To avoid neck pain, your head should be upright. You can use a laptop stand or books to bring your computer to eye level and pair it with an external keyboard for proper wrist positioning.
        “If I’m getting numbness and tingling that I haven’t had before, if I’ve had numbness and tingling and now it’s getting even worse, if I’m having headaches that are always towards the end of the day or having tightness in my back that’s always towards the end of the day, that tells me that there’s some ergonomic issues going on and contributing to that pain,” he explained.
        Dr. Schwartz said, don’t forget to take multiple breaks for spinal mobility. He also recommends simple stretches to keep blood flowing to the muscles. He said moving throughout the day is the key to better performance and overall health.


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