Home Office without Pain
Prim. Dr. Carlos Franz
Physical medicine and rehabilitation
Head of the Institute for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Döbling Private Hospital
More and more patients are complaining about muscle tension, neck or neck or back pain.
Dr. Franz, what should you pay attention to when working from home?
The correct setting of the screen height is important, working only on a laptop or tablet is not advisable, since the posture is unfavorable for the cervical spine. The screen should be at the right height in front of you, and you should also make sure that you change your body position regularly, i.e. get up and move from time to time, move your entire spine and large joints.
Height-adjustable desks are highly recommended so you can alternate between sitting and standing.
Is sitting on a gymnastic ball a good alternative to sitting in an armchair for hours?
Yes, when you sit on a gymnastic ball you sit "actively", i.e. the body has to constantly compensate for the slight movements of the ball, and this trains the back muscles. However, a gymnastic ball should only be used temporarily, i.e. not for the whole day, otherwise it will cause overexertion.
What are the most common complaints caused by unergonomic sitting?
Chronic tension in the shoulder girdle and neck muscles occurs most frequently, often with accompanying symptoms such as headaches or dizziness. In general, long periods of sitting are bad for the entire musculoskeletal system, especially for the intervertebral discs in the spine. Early degenerative changes in the spine, even in young adulthood, which I affectionately call “Morbus smartphone”, can increasingly be observed. The typical position bent over the smartphone is particularly unfavorable for the cervical spine in the long run.
In any case, what complaints should you see a specialist for?
If pain persists for more than 2 weeks or if pain radiates to the extremities or if there is severe restriction of movement of the spine or a joint, a specialist should be consulted. Especially when conventional painkillers do not bring rapid relief.
What physical measures can help?
First of all, a thorough examination and diagnosis by the doctor is required in order to prescribe the appropriate measures. Remedial gymnastics, medical massage, relaxation and mobilization exercises as well as various physical therapies are possible.
At the Institute for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Döbling Private Hospital, experienced specialists are available to diagnose complaints of the musculoskeletal system. Any X-ray or MRI examinations required can be carried out directly in-house.
All therapies are also offered on an outpatient basis. Patients are continuously cared for by their personal therapist.
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