In recent years, working from home has become a common occurrence for many workers in the United States. While this has provided a level of convenience for some, it has also resulted in an increased prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries, particularly related to the shoulder. Shoulder pain while working from home can be caused by a range of factors, including poor posture, overuse, and inadequate ergonomic setups. In today’s blog, we will explore effective strategies for preventing shoulder pain and offer solutions for those experiencing discomfort.
Understanding the Ergonomics of Your Workspace
The first step in preventing shoulder pain while working from home is to ensure that you have an ergonomic setup in your workspace. This means that your workstation is designed to fit you and your needs, reducing stress and strain on your body. If your chair and desk are not at the appropriate height or your computer monitor is not at the correct angle, you can be at an increased risk of shoulder pain.
To achieve an ergonomic workstation, adjust your chair height so your feet rest flat on the ground and your hands can rest comfortably on your keyboard without bending your wrists. Position your monitor at eye level, and use a separate mouse and keyboard to allow comfortable positioning of your arms and shoulders.
How Keeping up with a Fitness Routine Can Help
Maintaining an active lifestyle is another effective strategy for preventing shoulder pain while working from home. Exercise can help strengthen the muscles of your shoulders, arms, and back, reducing your risk of injury.
Try incorporating regular stretching and exercise breaks into your routine while working. A great exercise to implement into your routine is shoulder shrugs. Rolling your shoulders backward and towards your ears, and arm circles are some easy exercises you can complete at your desk without any equipment. If you have dumbbells or weights, use them to perform overhead presses and other shoulder-strengthening exercises to keep your shoulder joints stable and sturdy.
Take Frequent Breaks
Another important step to prevent shoulder pain is to take breaks frequently, so you move your shoulders and arms at intervals throughout your workday. Allowing your eyes and hands to rest and stretching your legs can help reduce fatigue and promote good posture.
Remember to stand up and stretch at least once an hour of work. Take time to walk around or take a quick lap outside. Use a timer to help remind you to take breaks frequently throughout the day.
Adjusting Your Sleeping Position
Your sleeping position can also affect your shoulder health. Sleeping on your side can place a lot of pressure on your shoulder, leading to pain and discomfort. If you sleep on your side, try using a pillow that is tucked under your outstretched arms to align your shoulder better. Sleeping on your back is often a better position as your shoulder is supported and kept in a neutral position.
When To Seek Professional Help
If you are experiencing shoulder pain while working from home or suspect you may have shoulder issues, seeking help from an orthopaedic surgeon is advised. Avoiding receiving proper treatment for shoulder pain can often lead to long-term damage and a reduced range of motion.
Dr. Hicken is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in treating shoulder injuries. When you schedule an appointment with Dr. Hicken, a thorough examination and discussion of your symptoms are conducted. A treatment plan will be recommended based on his findings that may include non-surgical options, such as physical therapy or medication, or surgical options when necessary.
Don’t Suffer in Silence – Schedule an Appointment With Dr. Hicken
If you are experiencing shoulder pain while working from home or in any other context, don’t delay in seeking the help you need. By taking proactive steps to prevent shoulder pain, such as adopting ergonomic work habits, practicing good posture, and maintaining an active lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of injury and maintain your shoulder health. If you do experience shoulder pain or suspect you may have a shoulder injury, consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. Hicken. With his expertise, you can feel confident that you will receive the best possible care and treatment for your shoulder health.