How to Ditch the Neck and Back Pain of Work From Home

Video by Rosalie E’Silva for Bloomberg QuickTake News

Are you experiencing neck and back pain while you work from home during the coronavirus outbreak? Working from home can be a literal pain in the neck for many.

Victor Bourdeau, osteopath at Integrated Medicine Institute (IMI) in Hong Kong, offers some tips. He says he’s been treating more people with work-related ailments, especially working from home. He says, “I can say about 50 to 60 percent of the people I see have been facing issues while working from home.”

The most common complaints? Back and neck pain.

Here are Victor’s top 5 tips on how to ditch back and neck pain.

Tip 1: Stretch & use trigger points

For your neck, Victor recommends, “Hooking your thumbs at the base of the skull and inducing circular pressure.”

For your neck & shoulder, Victor says, “Use your hand to grab the muscle here in your neck and look left, look right. Look up a bit and take a deep breath in and out. The release happens as you breathe out.”

And for your lower back, “Keep your knees at elbow width and you gently bend forward and breathe in and out.”

Tip 2: Stay active while working

Victor says, “One good way to do so is to use your environment as you’re working. So you can use your workspace, you can use your chair and desk to perform stretches. So if you have arms on your chair you can use it to rotate and stretch your spine like this. And you can stretch your shoulder.”

Tip 3: Check your posture

So what is the correct posture? “Keeping your neck straight. Keeping the head balanced on the neck. Tucking the shoulders back and bringing the shoulder blades back. It’s important to also pack your organs against your spine to engage your core and tighten your lower back. I recommend to have check points for your posture during your workday.”

Tip 4: Breathe

Victor says, “A long and deep breath will help you feel your back all the way up to your neck. So it’s a way to scan for your posture to scan for tensions along the spine. Breathing properly is also crucial for your stress. Taking a deep breath is like a reset and it gives you the chance to start again and to calm your mind down.”

Tip 5: Prioritize your health

Victor says, “The healthier you are, the healthier your spine will be and the better your posture will be and the less likely you are to hurt yourself as you’re working or to feel pain as you’re working. Now is the best time to take care of yourself, nurture yourself and become the best version of yourself. “

Written by Rosalie E’Silva

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