Ergonomics are all the rage throughout companies in the Houston area. Ergonomic experts come into offices and adjust desks to just the right size for you and your work activities. More workers are switching to standing desks, while others are forced to take breaks every 45 minutes to minimize the strain on the neck, upper back, and wrists.
So why are so many headache and carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers still arriving in our office dealing with posture or ergonomic related problems? The laptop. When someone that’s been doing great under chiropractic care comes in mentioning headaches at the back of their head, I start to feel around for misalignments in that area, along with the often accompanying muscle knots and spasms.
When finding these issues at the base of the skull, it becomes apparent to me that the patient has been spending a lot of time looking down. So I ask, “Have you been working from home lately? Maybe on a laptop…?”
When the answer comes back “Yes” – we discuss creating the best possible scenario for laptop ergonomics (if such a thing exists). The only way I’ve seen decent ergonomics is to use the laptop like a monitor, placed up high (like eye level) and then using an external keyboard to maintain some decent posture while you work at home.
Using the laptop on your coffee table is a sure fire way to destroy you neck and low back while you get some extra work done at home. Good ergonomics are still necessary, even if you’ve left the workplace!
These activities often lead to headaches – usually cervicogenic headaches (meaning that the headache originates from the neck). You can still work on the posture exercises we recommend and take the breaks every 45 minutes that are good practices when using the computer for extended periods of time.
However, the most important tactic in alleviating frequent cervicogenic headache pain is to make some adjustments to how you’re using your laptop at home.