LAFAYETTE, La. — When the pandemic first sent people home to work, many thought it would last a few weeks or maybe months.
This caused people to create at-home workspaces that might not have a professional desk and chair, causing people to slouch or not have correct posture.
Dr. Quentin Brisco is a chiropractor based in Lafayette. He says he’s seen patients with pain from this transition.
“It starts causing you sometimes wrist pain, or hip pain, and in worst-case scenario, neck, and shoulder pain because all of the sudden now your arms are in the wrong position, your hands are in the wrong position leaning forward, or you’re not having the support of a normal working chair or sofa or kitchen table chairs,” he said.
According to him, it takes most people two to four weeks to start to notice pain from bad posture. Plus, he says the pain adds up.
“It’s definitely cumulative,” he said. “Bad habits typically take 3 weeks to break, or three weeks to start. And this has been, like you said, 18, 19 months since the shut down in February 2020, so a lot of people are having these problems.”
Simple things you do at home can help prevent pain.
He says you can press your hands together, as if you were praying, with your forearms in front of your chest and hold for ten seconds. Then, reverse this motion, putting the front of your hands against each other, keeping your forearms in front of your chest. For neck pain, you can hold the right side of your head, by the ear, with your left hand and pull towards your left side and repeat in the opposite direction. Images show the stretches below.
He says these stretches work because you’re flexing your muscles, and this prevents you from getting locked in position.
Essentially, it’s a reset button.
Aside from stretching, he says not sitting down for more than 20 minutes can help, as well as remaining active.
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