Post the Coronavirus lockdown, Indians have reported a surge in the neck, back, and shoulder pain. Sitting continuously for long hours while working from home, is the primary reason for this sudden increase in musculoskeletal problems.
Experts believe that an unergonomic seating arrangement, lying on a sofa or a couch, increased mobile or TV time, and lack of physical activity is resulting in tightening of muscles and stiffening of neck, back, and shoulders. Even more, bending and looking over into your screen during a video call or cradling your phone between your neck and ears contribute to neck pain reasons.
But the good news is, although there is limited access to immediate medical care during this lockdown, one can reduce muscle stiffness with easy neck pain exercises and stretches.
Neck Pain Exercises To Do At Home
The key here is to perform the following neck pain relief exercises slowly and with sharp, controlled movements.
1) Upward Neck Extension: Relieves tension in your neck and improves blood circulation through the head.
Sit upright with your back straight.
Lower your neck to your chest and hold. Relax, and then slowly move your head back to face the ceiling.
Repeat this 5-7 times, at least 2-3 times a day during your working hours.
2) Neck Rotation: This is great for feeling a stretch along the side of your neck. This exercise warms up the shoulder blades and loosens up tight muscles.
Slowly rotate your neck to the left and look over your shoulder.
Hold this position for 15–20 seconds.
Repeat this on the opposite side and hold.
Do each side 2 - 4 times a day.
Remember these exercises are just simple neck pain remedies. These stretches have to be done gently and not with a lot of pressure to avoid causing serious injuries.
Basic Ergonomic Tips For A Home Office
With a sudden change in working habits due to COVID-19, most professionals have an improper workstation at home, leading to increased discomfort and neck and shoulder fatigue.
Here are some quick tips one needs to keep in mind to set up an ergonomic and comfortable work-from-home setup:
1. The surface height of the workstation should allow the elbows to be a 90-degree angle with shoulders while you are working. Alternate between a standing workstation and a sitting table to avoid fatigue from sitting in one position or in the same place.
2. Do not put your laptop directly on the lap and lie down on a bed and work for long periods of time. This will increase the pressure on your lower back and strain your neck and shoulders further. One should completely avoid sitting on the floor and working to prevent serious back and shoulder injuries.
3. Choose a spot that is well lit and well ventilated. Use a chair with an adjustable height if possible. You can use raise your height to be seated at the table height by using a stool to rest your legs on and sit in a 90-degree angle.
Besides the above, remember to take adequate breaks, move around the house from time-to-time, do yoga or dance to keep fit, take ample rest and stay positive to reduce neck and shoulder pain symptoms and fight it’s associated fatigue.
If you have chronic pain in your neck or shoulders, consult a doctor online immediately, in case you do not wish to rush to a clinic first.