In the years since the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have shifted from working daily at the office, to working from home most of the time. Sometimes, enough care is not taken when setting up the home office, leading one to work in conditions where their body is put under considerable strain.
Shoulder pain could be prevented by avoiding slouching positions when working, taking regular breaks, and using the right office equipment. It’s important to note that there are a few other conditions that could present as shoulder pain. According to the medical malpractice attorneys at the SB Law office, “many Americans are misdiagnosed with shoulder pain each year.”
Once you’re sure your shoulder ache is not a sign of any other underlying conditions, here are a few ways to keep your shoulder in the best possible shape when working from home.
1. Maintain a Good Sitting Posture
When working on a laptop, it’s pretty common to want to slouch over the laptop. This is the reason shoulder and back pain is very common in people who work at home. Crouching over a laptop for several hours every day can cause tendonitis and other damaging conditions in the shoulder. The damaged mechanics around the shoulder, if left untreated, could cause injuries when further strain is put on the shoulder.
Ways to maintain a good posture while working on a computer include:
- As tempting as it might be, avoid working from your bed or couch
- Set up a workstation at home with a good desk and chair
- Get a chair that encourages good posture and offers good lumbar support
- Get a desk that encourages switching between sitting and standing while working
- Make sure that your head is always directly above your hip and shoulders
- Get a small pillow and a footstool if necessary
- Ensure that the armrests are neither too high nor too low
- Avoid leaning, rather, sit evenly
- Keep your thighs and forearms parallel to the ground
- Take lots of short breaks to avoid sitting for a long stretch
- If you’re going to be on the phone a lot, use a headphone to avoid putting a lot of strain on your neck
2. Get an Ergonomic Chair & Desk
Traditional chairs and desks are capable of causing shoulder pain because they sometimes force one to bend and lean while working. A furniture upgrade from traditional to ergonomic furniture might be just what you need to prevent neck pain. These chairs reduce tension on the neck and pressure on the back. Both individuals and employers trying to keep their employees working in healthy environments invest in ergonomic chairs.
Though sometimes pricey, ergonomic furniture is comfortable and functional and most times worth the money spent on them. The makers of ergonomic chairs study the relationship between office workers and their work surroundings and use the information from these studies to make the most comfortable furniture for office environments.
Ergonomic chairs help employees improve their productivity levels and also reduce the cost of annual furniture maintenance as well as the chances of litigation from injured employees. These chairs support proper posture and are often adjustable so that one can set them to the most appropriate height and width. Other adjustable features in ergonomic furniture include lumbar support, headrest, armrest, and backrest.
3. Do Some Exercises
This is also one of the home remedies for shoulder aches. Exercising increases strength and flexibility in the parts of the body targeted. To ensure that your shoulders are healthy and injury-free, do some regular exercises targeted at keeping your shoulder strong. Take care not to put too much stress on your shoulders as this could create additional damage on the shoulders you’re trying to protect. Some workouts that could strengthen your shoulders include arm rotations, standing rows, elbow extensions, and elbow flexions.
What To Do If You Feel Shoulder Ache While Working from Home
It’s always best to prevent shoulder aches when working on a desk and chair. However, sometimes these things are hard to prevent. Any pain you feel in your shoulder is worth seeing a doctor for, as soon as possible. This is so that it doesn’t go from a simple pain into something complicated and expensive.
Shoulder problems sometimes require physiotherapy and even surgery. First, schedule a consultation with the doctor after which you may be sent for some scans before a treatment plan can be made. Sometimes shoulder pain can be managed with OTC pain relief medication or acupuncture. Other times the cure for shoulder pain is more expensive.