With many more of us spending time indoors this past year, be it for work or socially, it’s having an effect on our bodies. Many people have found they can sufficiently work from home for at least some days in the week, and still be productive, which is preferential to most. However, with the lack of a commute forcing us to at least move somewhat, it’s very easy to find yourself going hours on end without moving from your seat, and this can lead to troublesome neck, shoulder and back pain.
Causes of Neck and Shoulder Pain
Soreness and aches in these areas are common, and can occur for a variety of reasons.
- You have bad posture, during the day or during sleep.
- You have injuries to soft tissue, like muscle tears or sprains, possibly from a sporting or vehicle accident.
- Your spinal disks in the neck are wearing (common with age) causing cervical spondylosis.
- A nerve in your neck is pinched, causing pain that radiates through the shoulders.
- You have a more serious condition like meningitis or stable angina, and if the pain is prolonged you ought to see a specialist doctor.
Solving Neck and Shoulder Pain
With the help of the online pharmacy Pharmica, we’ve established 3 methods to effectively reduce your pain.
1. Amend your Sleep
This is an often overlooked area of our lives, and considering we spend up to 1/3rd of our lives asleep, there’s a good chance that your neck or shoulder pain might be caused (or at least not helped) by poor sleep positioning.
You may experience fewer aches and sores if you sleep on your back. Sleeping on your front forces your head to one side and can cause aches on one side of the neck. Side sleeping is better for the neck, but can cause shoulder aches due all your weight being on your side.
Your pillow might also be contributing to poor posture whilst asleep. Too many or too few pillows can cause a misalignment of the spine that is unfavourable to a healthy sleeping position. Play around with variations until you find what works for you, but we recommend an orthopedic memory foam pillow to best follow the bodily curves.
2. At your Desk
Working from home has brought with it the tendency for work to go on longer, as you can now theoretically always be at work. This adds extra weight to the importance of creating a healthy work environment, although very few people do.
Your chair is the backbone (pardon the pun!) of your workplace setup. This is the vehicle that you’ll be in for most of the day, and one that isn’t ideal for your posture will cause serious discomfort. Our tips for selecting a good work chair is to get a full height office chair, with adjustable height, back angle, and headrest. Chairs that are well cushioned and curve with the natural contours of your back are ideal for reducing long term aches. Whatever you do, avoid the dreaded hard dining room chair, with no adjustability and a form not designed to be sat on for hours on end.
3. Widely Available Pain Relief
Whilst the previous tips have been preventative methods, those that are currently in pain from neck, shoulder and back issues should treat their injuries with medication. Over-the-counter pain relief treatments like Paracetamol and Ibuprofen are taken in tablet form, whilst topical treatments like Voltarol Gel are great quick-relief options for soothing the discomfort.