The Modern Workspace and Neck Pain


    The modern workforce has undoubtedly transitioned into being more virtually connected over the last few years which has changed the way we view the workspace. Many people went from a formal office to a makeshift home setup during 2020. As a result we have seen an uptick in complaints of neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, and postural changes that can have a significant negative impact on general quality of life.

    As people have transitioned to working from home, many have overlooked or even altogether neglected the importance of proper posture and ergonomics throughout the day. After all, most of the furniture we buy for our homes isn’t designed to be used for an eight to ten hour workday. So, small changes in posture and activity have led to bigger problems for many people over the last few years.

    Common complaints that we hear include neck pain, frequent or chronic headaches, and/or shoulder pain. These usually come in some kind of combination and often include all of the above, and are usually worse as the day goes on. One thing that should be considered when trying to figure out the cause of these issues is how we are spending most of our days. People in the “work from home” group seem to be spending most of their time in one spot, transitioning between virtual meetings and calls all from the same spot where they started their day until the workday is over. Multiply that by months or years and it becomes a little easier to see where a problem could be coming from. 

    Ergonomically, we see postural changes that are impacting jaw and neck positioning frequently. Some consistent issues that are occurring are rounding of the shoulders and forward head displacement. This can lead to a cascade of postural issues. Forward head displacement can cause compression at the upper neck, where the back of the head meets the spine. This can compress structures in that area, known as the suboccipital area. Over time, the suboccipital muscles adaptively shorten and can become achy. Neural irritation in the area can also cause referred pain up the head or down the neck from that area. 

    Rounding of the shoulders related to postural changes at the back and neck can also affect mechanics at the shoulder blade and shoulder joint. The shoulder blade and upper arm bone work together like a “cup and saucer” to maintain stability and mobility at the shoulder joint. But, when those two components are in an improper position during upper extremity movement or loading the risk of impingement and injury to the structures within the shoulder becomes much greater, and we can start to see breakdown after time. 

    The good news is that these changes are treatable and resolving pain is possible with the right kind of care. The physical therapists at Fort Worth Head, Neck, and Jaw can help you modify your workspace and re-educate those all-important postural muscles to help make sure the pain that you are feeling goes away and stays away. If neck or jaw pain have become a regular part of your life, contact a physical therapist today to correct the problem before it can interrupt your life anymore. 

    Would You Like To See A Physical Therapist For Free?

    We know that sometimes people want more than just a few tips. That’s why we offer expert advice about the worry and frustration of life-changing aches and pains through a FREE conversation with one of our Physical Therapists.

    Here are a few things you will experience in one of our free Discovery Visits

    1. A Doctor of Physical Therapy will perform a thorough history and examination of your injuries in order to see if Ried Physical Therapy would benefit you.  

    2. You will work 1-on-1 with a physical therapist for your entire visit.  

    3. An assessment of your home, sport, or work environment in order to locate the causes of your pains.

    Our Discovery Visits are great for anyone that may be “unsure” if physical therapy is right for them, and they give you the opportunity to ask questions and see for yourself if we can help you.   

    If you would like to speak with one of our physical therapists about what we can do for you, please contact our office at (817) 380-8077 and ask for a Discovery Visit appointment.

    We’re Here To Help…   

    If you’re in pain and would like to talk to us about getting some help, some specialist advice, or if you are looking for a diagnosis, remember we are always here to help you…. and we’re offering you the chance to have your first session with a physical therapist for FREE (with a discovery visit).   

    If you would like to book a discovery visit, please contact our office at (817) 380-8077 or select the “Get Started” menu option at the top of this webpage.


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