Hi there! Our names are Dr. Julia Perez, PT, DPT and Dr. Jasmine Bhoola, DC of SHC Montvale and we are happy to bring to you our first blog post following up on Episode 1 of our webinar series: Julia & Jazz Chats.
On this episode, we discussed ergonomics and working from home. Google defines ergonomics as “the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment.” As more jobs have become work from home, people are forced to adapt to their home environment into a home office. We are seeing more and more patients come into The Spine & Health Center with complaints of neck and lower back pain caused by sitting in the same position for extended periods of time. Whether the chair is uncomfortable, or the desk height at home is not efficient, we are finding that working from home has become the root cause of pain for many people these days.
Working from home also eliminates most commutes – walking from train stations, walking to the printer, or even getting up to go to meetings.
Dr. Jasmine had the opportunity to explain the benefits of a proper chair to support the lumbar spine mentioned in NY Magazine article. Check out this link: https://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-ergonomic-office-chairs.html
A big part of finding the correct chair or modifying your set up is very important to support the natural curve of your spine. By placing a pill or rolled up towel at the base of your spine, you will be able to support the natural lordosis of your lumbar spine. You also need to make sure that the screen of your computer is at eye level, your arms should be at a 90 degree angle for your keyboard. This is the same for when you are looking at your phone. You must keep your phone at eye level when reading/deleting emails, going on zoom meetings, or even texting. Maintaining a “forward head, rounded shoulder posture” or “upper cross syndrome” is very common when sitting for long periods of time. Physiologically, your pectoral muscles become tight, bringing your shoulders forward, and the muscles attached to your shoulder blades rhomboids, mid traps) become loose and weak. In addition to this, your head moving forward results in tight suboccipital muscles and weak deep neck flexors. GOOD NEWS! We have exercises and stretches for you that you can use to address these impairments or prevent them from happening.
Dr. Jordan August, a physical therapist at The Spine and Health Center of Closter, wrote an article discussing posture and how it is related to pain. The article is titled, “Posture and Pain: Do They Relate?” and can be found at this link: https://truecoach.co/thinking-remotely/posture-and-pain-do-they-relate/ .
In our webinar, Dr. Jasmine demonstrates CARS which are Controlled Articular Rotation, and a seated upper trapezius stretch. To initiate this exercise, rotate your neck in a comfortable range of motion slowly. To advance the exercise, light weight can be added to your hands to pull down the shoulders. If you hear cavitations or ‘pops’ that is okay and that does not indicate pathology. Another stretch that can be done is the upper trapezius stretch. Take your hand and reach over to your other ear and pull your neck lightly to the side. Dr. Julia demonstrates chin tucks, and a seated levator scap stretch. If you missed the video, please check out our instagram @shc_nj.
We hope to see you on our next Instagram Live! Follow @shc_nj for more updates on our next topic.