5 Ways to Elminate Posture-Related Pain From Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Written by: Superior Physical Therapy

I never thought I would live through something like this. These are surely unprecedented times. Most folks are now working from home and our activity levels are a fraction of what they were a couple of months ago. The combination of sitting at home all day on the computer, the inability to exercise at the gym, the inability to participate in school/sports teams, the inability to run errands, and the refrigerator that is constantly calling our names is a recipe for disaster.

Are your neck, shoulders, or back hurting? It is probably from poor posture, body mechanics, and ergonomics, particularly while sitting at your computer. Or, like most of us you need to take a break to take in some fresh air and do some Spring cleaning and yard work. Are your knees, back, elbows, and wrists sore? It’s all about how we move, how we carry our bodies when performing various tasks and activities, what positions we’re holding ourselves in, and for how long.

Here’s an experiment: take your index finger and pull it back toward the back of your hand. Now, hold it for 10 seconds or so. It’s most likely starting to hurt right? That is because you were putting abnormal stress on normal tissues. This same thing happens when sitting, standing, bending, or crouching for long periods of time—especially if you’re not used to it.

Here Are 5 Tips to Try at Home to Reduce Posture-Related Pain:

1. Schedule a TelePT Appointment!

Did you know that Superior can help you with these things while you’re stuck at home? Yep! Via our new TelePT appointments, we can evaluate your posture and movement patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond—even if you can’t physically come to our clinic. Using our encrypted, secure, and HIPPA-compliant platform, we can watch how you walk, how you transition to and from sitting to standing, how you sit at your desk or use your computer, bend, lift, rake, garden, and more, right in your own home. In fact, it’s actually an advantage as we can really see how you’re performing your daily activities in the comfort of your own home!

Want to give it a try, or want to learn more about our TelePT option? Give us a call us at our Thomas Johnson or Spring Ridge office, or simply click here to visit our TelePT page. We are here to help and will get through this together!

2. Hydrate!

Our bodies are comprised of at least 70% water. Muscles, nerves, discs, joint structures, and fascial tissues need water to function effectively and efficiently. Drink at least 8-10 8-oz glasses of water a day, preferably spring water (they contain better electrolytes!). A bonus? Filling up on water especially before meals will help you eat less and lose weight as well without thinking about it too much. Talk about a score!

3. Move!

woman working on computer while standing at counter; posture-related pain; poor posture at home

Movement and changing your position frequently helps to redistribute weight-bearing forces on your joints and provides nutrition to your discs and meniscus. The result? A decrease in stiffness and posture-related pain. Get out of your chair often—at least every 40 minutes. A versa desk (an elevating desk) is a wonderful tool to have so you can change from sitting to standing often.

4. Position Yourself in the Optimal Sitting Posture

Make sure you are sitting at a 90-degree angle (a right angle) at your elbows, hips, knees, and ankles, and/or have good support under your feet if you are shorter in stature. Your back should be upright, your low back being supported by a small pillow, thighs should be level with your chair, eyes should be level with your computer, and your mouse should be close so your arm isn’t extended. If you have a large gym ball, you could sit on that as well. Since you can’t slouch on the ball, you’ll need to activate your core muscles and legs to stay on it. It’s a great simple exercise!

5. Spring Cleaning/Yard Work Body Mechanics

We’ll talk more about this in the next blog, but for now, suffice it to say that sprucing up your yard and tidying up your home is an incredibly beneficial activity while being stuck at home.

Just because you’re stuck in and around the house doesn’t mean you have to suffer from the new posture-related pain and aching that comes with it! Give these different tips a try, and definitely schedule a TelePT Appointment! We’d be honored to help you through it.