Patient Stories – How we helped ease Mrs P’s Neck Pain

Neck Pain due to working from home

A lady in her mid 40’s suffering from neck pain came to see us at Active Motion. She started to develop neck pain after a change in her work situation meant she was now working from home on her laptop but didn’t really think much of it.

Eight months later she came to see us at Active Motion as her symptoms had built over time meaning they were getting worse and worse until she was starting to suffer at work and in her day to day activities.

How was the Neck Pain affecting Mrs. P’s life?

“ I didn’t see a way out… I was beginning to think I was going to be in pain forever.”

Mrs P felt that the pain started to affect her when working due to sitting in front of a laptop for extended periods of time at her kitchen counter.

On assessment

She was experiencing a dull ache across the top of her shoulders and sharp pain into the top of her neck which started to cause headaches which spanned over the top of her head.

When turning her head to the left and right the dull ache across the opposite shoulder would increase feeling as if it was tight and pulling. 

This feel was also felt when taking her chin to her chest, this movement also stimulated the sharp pain to start in the neck.

Neck Posture

Looking at Mrs P’s posture, we found that she had a forward head posture and was quite round shouldered. When we have a forward head posture it can increase pressure on individual vertebra of the neck, overloading individual structures and in turn causing pain. While being round shouldered will start to lengthen muscles causing weakness and lack of function.

How did we help with Mrs. P’s neck pain?

To influence Mrs P’s posture as quickly as possible we needed to change the way she was working because sitting in front of a poorly positioned screen was where she was spending a large proportion of her day.

Workstation set up when working from home

Firstly we changed her desk step to resemble something similar to what you see below (HSE).

  1. Computer Screen (Sitting): raised so that the middle of the screen is at eye level.
  2. Keyboard and Mouse: If possible use an external keyboard and mouse which is lower then the screen height. Ideally so that your shoulders are nice and relaxed with your elbows bent to around 90 degrees.
  3. Computer Screen (Standing) : raised so that the middle of the screen is at eye level.
  4. Lower Back: Sitting in a slight recline with your hips and knees bent to around 90 degrees.
  5. Head Position (Standing): stand nice and tall so your neck is not forwards towards the screen.