Rossano Zangerolami, Osteopath
Who would have thought that 2020 would hold us such a difficult challenge! It is a year of upheaval both at the work and social level. This epidemic has imposed social distancing and consequently remote work has been introduced in an urgent and widespread way. Remote work has allowed many workers to continue their business from home, so it was an excellent opportunity to find work continuity.
However, it arrived like a tsunami, so suddenly, and without having the appropriate time to study and prepare the new workstations and the ergonomics of the home furniture.
Remote work means ‘agile work’, but certainly not for our back and the increase in musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) during this pandemic, especially at the cervical level, is proof of this.
It is the pain that we feel in the neck, along the cervical tract and it is one of the most common pains especially by video terminals. Knowing the reason that triggers the disorder could help us to adopt behaviors and movements to avoid it and correct it.
The origin of pain is multifactorial and mainly determined by two types of factors:
– physical: generated by prolonged time spent in inadequate position / posture, lack of adequate physical exercise, repeated hand movements.
– psychosocial: generated by stress, such as the conflict between work and private life, for problems in family management (especially for those who have responsibilities for the care of minors or elderly people), a hostile work environment and monotonous tasks.
Incorrect postures risk causing latent muscle or joint disorders to emerge or cause new ones in the short or long term.
Cervical pain in particular is significantly associated with mouse use for more than 2 hours, computer use for more than 6 hours, or in stressful positions with increased forward neck / head flexion for more than 1 hour. without regular breaks.
Unfortunately we find ourselves working with notebooks that force us to look continuously with the head in front of us, with chairs taken from the dining table that do not support the back, often remaining with the curvature of the lumbar spine reversed.
This problem does not only concern workers, but also students! Many of them find themselves following the lessons from the tablet or even worse from the mobile phones, remaining for hours in incorrect postures that cause joint and visual overload.
Tensions, particularly in the muscles of the cervical tract, generate contractures that over time will create localized pain at the base of the occiput, trapezius muscle or subscapularis, also giving rise to major tension headache episodes.
Working in remote mode is possible, but to reduce the risks it is recommended to strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles with appropriate exercises. Then you need to use desktop stands for PCs: the monitor must always be positioned at eye level.
If you use a laptop, use books to lift it and an external keyboard to maintain the correct position of the elbows. It is important, in fact, to avoid looking down so as not to strain the cervical. It is also essential to sit with lumbar support. Use an ergonomic chair, if possible, so that it can be adjusted according to the characteristics of the subject, in some cases the use of an inflatable pillow may be useful. Usage time should also be monitored. It is advisable to take a break every 30 minutes to rest the spine and reactivate the muscles.
To reactivate the latter, just:
- perform simple shoulder circles to stretch the neck muscles
A fundamental advice in this period, where even the gyms are closed, is to stay active and avoid a sedentary lifestyle, therefore, if possible, jogging or aerobic exercise, but simple walks are also fine to avoid loss of muscle tone.
The intervention of an Osteopath, based on a postural analysis and a thorough medical history, is the winning weapon to eliminate pain and restore the body to its original balance.
Proceeding with a personalized treatment, the professional will be able, through manipulations (articular and / or visceral), craniosacral techniques, stretching and muscle strengthening, to eliminate the origin of body decompensation.
Treatment for neck pain
1 – To promote relaxation after an intense day of work, apply a few drops of Sinergia S.A. to the temples and under the nostrils. , a balsamic blend of essential oils that helps the respiratory tract and the re-oxygenation of the skin.
2- Perform a massage in the affected area with a few drops of Olio Strongful which acts on muscle stiffness with a decontracting and anti-fatigue action
3- Then apply the Balsamo BeC, a skilful combination of essential oils with anti-inflammatory properties, including Savory and Wintergreen, and calming, such as Chamomile and Lavender, which make it able to effectively counteract local irritations, giving immediate relief.
You can repeat the treatment twice a day.
Listen to your body and always take care of yourself!