Is Working from Home a Pain in Your Neck?

May 03, 2023
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The freedom to work from home is a blessing for many these days. But your relaxed work habits can be a primary source of muscle strain and other causes of neck pain. Learn how to protect your muscles and spine when working remotely.

Working from home offers many advantages over working in an office for many people. However, your work-at-home habits may not be doing your spine any favors.

At Zephyr Medical, our board-certified pain management physician Asher C. Goldstein, MD, specializes in nonsurgical neck pain solutions that result from poor posture and other work-related habits.

Our team takes an integrative approach to managing your pain and treating its underlying cause, so you can avoid chronic pain. We also provide resources to reduce your risk for long-term cervical (upper) spine complications and improve the overall health of your spine.

Work-at-home habits that can trigger neck pain

Your workspace at home is likely contributing to your persistent neck pain. Often, people feel more relaxed in their own space and may enjoy working from the couch instead of a more supportive office chair.

Slouching on the couch strains the muscles that support your back and neck, leading to tension headaches, fatigue, and neck pain. Poor posture can also move your spinal structures out of alignment and limit the function of your spine.

If you work with a computer on your lap instead of at eye level, you’ll spend a lot of time looking downward. Keeping your head in this position for an extended time can exhaust your neck muscles and irritate the nerves in your upper and lower spine.

Due to the more relaxed nature of your home, you may also spend more time working and take fewer breaks. Sitting for too long without a break can increase your risk for widespread musculoskeletal pain, reduced blood circulation, and nerve-related pain conditions like sciatica.

Work-from-home tips for neck pain prevention

Being aware of your neck pain triggers is only half the battle. You need to stay mindful of your work-at-home and general lifestyle habits to keep your spine healthy.

Here are some quick tips to lower your risk for neck, back, and body pain:

Schedule regular breaks

If you tend to lose yourself in your work, set a timer on your phone every 30 minutes. When the alarm sounds, stand up and stretch, then take a walk around your house.

You should also spend 20-30 minutes a day engaging in exercises that get your heart pumping. Daily exercise enhances your blood circulation, supports weight management, and keeps your neck muscles flexible.

Invest in a desk

If you’re sore after working from the couch or kitchen table, set some money aside to invest in a high-quality, ergonomic office chair and a desk of suitable height.

If you really want to maximize your health during work hours, consider getting a standing desk that transitions into a raised position,

Visit your eye doctor

Often, people who work long hours on a computer develop neck pain that actually relates to eye strain. A trip to the eye doctor can identify vision issues that affect your pain.

Using anti-glare covers on your computer screen and wearing blue-blocker glasses can reduce eye strain and protect your long-term vision.

Explore your pain management solutions

When neck pain doesn’t go away with rest and over-the-counter medications, our pain management specialists can help. 

Our team offers a range of nonsurgical solutions, including nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, and therapeutic ultrasound therapy to ease persistent pain.

We can also discuss your options for more invasive therapies like radiofrequency ablation if your neck pain interferes with your quality of life.

Call Zephyr Medical in Brooklyn Heights, New York, to schedule a diagnostic evaluation for neck pain, or book an appointment online today.