Monday, March 29th, 2021
Remote work makes life incredibly convenient. Workers don’t have to worry about their commute. Employers don’t have to pay as much overhead for utilities. But there are some downsides to working from home.
You may not realize it, but working remotely can take a physical toll on your body. Some of the issues are familiar to anyone who works in an office. But there are also some unique physical risks associated with working from home.
Neck and Back Pain
Anyone who stares at a screen for most of the day is at risk of neck and back pain. Some experts call this tech neck, but that isn’t an official name. To put this in perspective, one survey found that 45% of remote workers started experiencing joint and back pain since switching to working from home. When asked if there is new pain or worsening pain since working from home, the percentage increased to 71%.
The problem comes from how we sit when on screens. Whether it is a computer, tablet, or smartphone, we tend to lean forward. This is incredibly bad for your health. Remember that, on average, adult heads weigh about 11 pounds. When you lean forward, you put all that weight on your neck. Even worse, it is in an unnatural position.
Neck and back pain aren’t the only issues associated with this. You may also feel muscle spasms, headaches, or neck stiffness. If it gets bad enough, the discs in your back or neck may bulge. In the worst-case scenario, they may even rupture.
How to Reduce the Effects
The good news is you can take steps to reduce this type of pain and stiffness.
Start by choosing a desk chair with good lumbar support. Confirm that the chair supports your body weight, so it isn’t left on your spine.
Always try to avoid leaning forward. Here’s an easy way to think of the position you want to be in. If you fall asleep, your head will lean back, not forward.
Take a few quick breaks (even just a few seconds) to move your shoulders and neck regularly.
Consider getting a footrest as well. Preventing your feet from dangling reduces leg pain. This also adds support to your entire body. The result should be less back strain.
Wrist Pain and Carpal Tunnel, Especially From Laptops
Wrist pain and potential carpal tunnel or numbness are known issues for people who type a lot. But the fact that many remote workers use laptops makes this even worse.
The issue comes from the small keyboard combined with the low screen. The combination means you are more likely to hunch forward. Additionally, your wrists will not get the support they need.
The other issue with laptops is that they encourage you to work in unusual locations. Sitting in an unsupportive desk chair is bad enough. But working from a bed or couch can even be worse. That is particularly concerning given than in a British survey, 24% of respondents said they are working from their sofas and 17% are working on the floor. This applies to both your posture (your neck and back) and your wrists.
How to Reduce the Effects
You can reduce these effects with a few simple actions. Start by making it a point to sit at a table or desk. Make sure you have a supportive chair as well.
If you can, use a separate mouse and keyboard. These steps help keep your wrists in the ideal neutral position. Set up the screen so it sits level with your eyes. You may need an extra monitor or a laptop stand.
Eye Strain and Blue Light
Eye strain is another issue that is common among office workers but even worse for remote workers. With remote work, you spend more time staring at a screen.
Consider, for example, talking to a coworker. In the office, you could get up, walk to their desk, and speak to them in person. There would be no screens involved. With remote work, this becomes a Slack conversation or video call. Your eyes never leave the computer screen.
Blue light also contributes to eye strain. Your eyes have to work harder when focusing on screens with blue light. Unfortunately, most digital devices emit blue light.
How to Reduce the Effects
There are a few things you can do to reduce eye strain. Start by seeing what you can do to reduce the amount of time you spend staring at a screen. At the very least, look away from the screen for half a minute or so every once in a while.
You can also adjust your computer, so the screen is about 15 or 20 degrees less than horizontal eye level.
To deal with blue light, consider blue-light-filtering glasses. You should also use the 20-20-20 rule. Take a 20-second (or more) break every 20 minutes. During this time, focus your eyes on something 20 feet away.
If you make those changes and still deal with eye strain, consider getting your eyes checked. You may want computer glasses. These can reduce strain even if they have a minimal correction.
Health Risks of Being Sedentary
There are also plenty of health risks associated with being sedentary. Experts have expressed concern about these for years. But those concerns only accounted for an office setting. The risks can increase even more when working remotely.
After all, there is no need to get up for the commute. Even if you drive to work, you will walk to your car to do so. Then, at work in an office, you at least get up a few times. Maybe you’ll collect documents from the printer or get coffee.
All these small movements are less likely at home. To make matters worse, many remote workers find themselves working longer.
That’s problematic because being sedentary can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
How to Reduce the Effects
The best way to overcome this is to get moving. Make it a point to get up and walk around your house regularly. At the very least, take a real lunch break. If you can fit in a quick walk, that’s better. If not, at least you will get up from your desk.
At least once an hour, get up for a few minutes. Do some stretches or walk around your house.
Mental Health Is Also a Concern
Although not a physical issue, remote work can also be bad for your mental health. This tends to come from working longer hours and having fewer home-work boundaries. That combines with reduced socialization.
Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021
Every year, around 4.4 million people require medical attention after being injured in a car accident. The good news is that even if you have chronic pain after a car accident, you can get treatment to reduce your symptoms. Then, you can get back to your normal activities.
If you are in pain after being in a car accident, you might have several symptoms. For example, if you have neck or back pain, you could have whiplash or a spinal injury. And if you do not get care for that, the damage could have an adverse and severe effect on you. You might find that you need to get treatment for many years for chronic pain.
Luckily, a chiropractor is trained in helping patients who have been in car accidents. They can help you feel better without the need for surgery or medication.
What Is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is pain that lasts a long time and does not respond to treatment. During an accident, your musculoskeletal system might get knocked out of alignment. The force of the accent is responsible for that. The result might be neck or back pain.
If you have whiplash, it might occur during a rear-end collision. Your neck moves back and forth rapidly, causing the nerves to become strained. The spine is no longer in the correct alignment, resulting in a strain on the neck muscles. You might have chronic pain in the form of stiffness or pain.
What Can I Do for My Chronic Pain from an Auto Accident?
Right after an accident, it is best to see a doctor, even if you do not have any pain. That way, you will not have chronic issues. However, you might still have pain after a car accident. Traditionally, treatment has involved using medication to reduce the symptoms. But if you see a car accident chiropractor, you can address the underlying issue. Whether that is a whiplash treatment or fixing your spinal issues, you can get a long-term solution.
Medication will not help you get your mobility back, but you can do that when you get a chiropractic adjustment. It reduces the pressure on your nerves and muscles that can cause pain and inflammation. And doing corrective exercises can help you, as well.
How a Chiropractor Can Help with Chronic Pain
If you have a cut or broken bone, it is easy to see right away. But other issues might not be noticed immediately. You have adrenaline throughout your body after an accident and shortly after, meaning you might not feel the effects right away. If you have whiplash, you may not notice the results for several days longer, making it much harder to treat your issues. After a few days, you might notice headaches, neck pain, or blurry vision.
If you have swelling and chronic pain after an accident, you can manage the issue by visiting your chiropractor. They can adjust your spine to reduce your swelling and pain. That also reduces damage to the area. Your recovery time will be much faster than if you tried to treat yourself.
Why You May Want to See a Chiropractor
If you have been in a car accident and have pain, you might feel that the only way to deal with the issue is surgery. The good news is that you have more options. Surgery should only be used as a last resort, and it should only be used when you do not have any other options open to you.
But you can seek chiropractic care before choosing to have surgery. The procedures involve using more natural methods, such as spinal manipulation. It can correct abnormalities and help your body heal itself. If you speak with your chiropractor before having surgery, you might not need to have surgery at all. A chiropractor offers a safe and natural solution to surgery, and it is more cost-effective. In addition, it doesn't take as long to get treatment as surgery might.
You might have inflammation, which chiropractic care can help with, as well. A chiropractor will offer a consultation before examining the area. That way, they can help you find what issues are affecting your body. That could include tears in the muscles or ligaments. If you have a tear, you might have pain, but treatment can go a long way toward helping reduce that issue.
If you have a micro-tear, you might have had whiplash after the accident. The rapid motion can cause tears in your muscles. Spinal manipulation helps your body release anti-inflammatory substances, which are helpful in managing pain.
You might need to take some pain medication after an accident, but many drugs cannot help you with every ache or pain. Medication will only help cover the symptoms. It will not treat the underlying problem, which is why you might not want to take medicine to deal with your pain. Some kinds of medication are addictive, and they could have adverse side effects. You could have withdrawal symptoms, leading to other problems.
With chiropractic care, you will not have as much pain, even after a minor accident. It can help you recover faster and get back to normal. At the same time, you will not have as many adverse side effects from your treatment.
According to the NHTSA, a rear-end collision is the most common motor vehicle crash in the country, at about 29 percent of crashes. If you are in a rear-end crash, you could be at risk of a neck injury, such as whiplash. If you have recently been in a car accident, you might want to seek chiropractic care for chronic pain. No matter what caused the issue, even if it was a simple fender bender, you should not wait to deal with the problem. By getting care right away, you can support your body's healing processes, preventing more pain in the future. The first step is to make an appointment.
By: Dr. Jeffrey Shapiro