Is Working From Home Causing Pain?

Glen Iris Working from Home

Glen Iris and Ashburton locals. Is working from home causing pain?

Are you a Glen Iris or Ashburton local working from home? Are you suffering Back Pain. Neck pain. Shoulder pain. Are you feeling stiff in your back and hips? Rest assured you are not alone. But rather you sound like one of the many many other locals that we are treating at the moment. And do you know what is the common link? Yes, that right…everyone is working from home, and it’s causing them pain. Back Pain

As we enter the 3rd week of Stage 3 restrictions here in Victoria, we have seen so many of our Glen Iris and Ashburton locals suffering from back pain associated with working from home. The kitchen and dining room tables have been converted into makeshift offices. Not to mention those of us working on the couch or the floor! This is unfortunately not a choice, but rather a new way of life at the moment. SO what can you do to ensure that these new makeshift offices are not resulting in ongoing back pain. Headaches, Shoulder pain or hip stiffness and tightness.

YES, I’m working from home and it’s causing pain! What can do I?

We need to realize that this current lockdown maybe for longer than the specified 6 weeks period. To help our local residents and clients, we have put together these 5 essential exercises you must be doing if you are working from home. and its causing pain.

How will they benefit me?

Long periods of sitting or being in the same posture can lead to pain and stiffness. Getting up and moving is the best way to get the blood flowing and improve range of motion. Your spine, hips and shoulders are designed to move. So changing up your position is essential. We often say the “best posture, is your next posture”. What does this mean? It means get up and change positions. If you have a sit to stand desk. Use it. If you can change locations, do it. And if you need to set a timer. Do it. This helps break up the day and allows for a change of posture.

Note – these exercises are designed to feel comfortable. If they cause more pain, please seek further advice from your health care professional. 

Exercise 1: Cat Cow:

The cat-cow exercise is a spinal mobilization exercise that aids in our Ashburton local suffering back pain  “loosen” their spine. It gets your lower back, upper back, hips, and neck all moving together. Better yet there is no load. Try 10-15 repetitions twice a day.

Exercise 2: Thread the Needle:

This is another great Mid Back – Thoracic spine mobilization. Most of us, are working off a laptop. Which can be hard to place at the correct ergonomic height. And as a result of this, our shoulders are rolling inwards and our mid-back is ‘hunched” This movement series helps “open” up the chest and shoulders, while also having a great effect on the lower back. Again aim for 15-20 repetitions both ways, twice a day.

Exercise 3: Hip Flexor Stretch:

Our hip flexors ( Known as our Psoas muscle) are big 2 strong muscles that sit on the front aspect of our lower back. Typically when we sit for extended periods of time. these muscles can become stiff and tight. And can result in our Ashburton locals suffering back pain. This is a great stretch to “open” up the hips and stretch out these hip flexors!


Exercise 4: Seated Piriformis Stretch:

The Piriformis is another one of stringer muscles around the hips. Longer periods sitting can result in pain and dysfunction of this muscle. Why is this muscle so important? In about 10-15% (1) of the population, the sciatic nerve pierces the muscles. This means that in some cases, this tightness and irritation can give sciatic type symptoms! With poor lower back strength and control, and extended periods of sitting – this muscle can become sore/tight and irritated. This stretch provide great relief from tightness.  Hold each stretch for about 5-10 seconds, and repeat 3-4 times each side.


Exercise 5: Upper Neck and Chest Stretch:

There is no doubt all of us are experiencing an increasing amount of stress at the minute. Homeschooling, COVID-19 daily updates, and the uncertainty of when this lockdown will end! This alone can cause neck and shoulder tightness. Now couple this with a less than ideal work station, and you have the recipe for neck and pain tightness. This tightness can cause headaches, issues sleeping, shoulder pain, and upper back pain. Below is a simple and easy stretch to relieve this tightness. Again ensure you are not feeling any discomfort, and ensure you perform this stretch on both sides. Holding each stretch for 5-10 seconds, repeating 3-4 times per day.


By allocating some time for some self-care, changing your posture regularly, you will be going a long way to ensuring you can stay fit and mobile whilst in lockdown and working from home.

If you need any further help, we are more than happy to assist. This may be talking about your desk set up, some hands-on treatment – such as massage or mobilization. Or it could be designing a program that is specific to you and your pain and irritation. All you need to do is reach out and ask for help. It’s what we are here to do!

We want to see you get back to your best. Living your best life.


Osteopaths Glen Iris



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