Finding Relief

Finding Relief

How Physiotherapy Can Alleviate Desk Job Aches

Hey there, fellow office warriors! Let’s dive into a common struggle: the discomfort that often accompanies our lengthy stints at the desk. We all know the drill – the stiff neck, the sore shoulders, and that persistent lower back pain that seems to haunt us after a day of relentless computer work.

But fret not, because there’s a solution at hand: physiotherapy! While you might assume it’s primarily for athletes or those recovering from serious injuries, think again. Physiotherapy is a game-changer for the desk-bound too, and here’s why.

Set-up Modifications

Adjusting the set up of your desk can help to alleviate pain greatly. Having an ergonomic set-up of your desk is vital to being comfort and longevity of desk position.

The height of your screen, the distance and location of the keyboard, mouse, and phone can all make a big difference to your levels of comfort and prevention of pain.

Our top tips for an ergonomic set up: 

  • Top of screen just above eye level
  • Screen distance an arms length away from you
  • Keyboard within arms reach with elbows flexed at 90 degrees by your sides
  • Mouse within reach with a flexed elbow and relaxed shoulder
  • Chair with lumbar support, feet flat on the ground or foot stool. 
  • Headset rather than handheld phone

An even better solution is to have a sit-stand desk, to avoid sitting for sustained periods and having the option to change up positions and pressure points on your body.

Having an ergonomic assessment completed by a Physiotherapist, and having specific modifications based on your pain location and symptoms is one way Physiotherapy can help alleviate your desk posture-related pain.

Healthy movement habits

You can still experience pain even with the most ergonomic desk set-up, this is due to the body’s natural desire for movement. ‘The best posture is your next posture’ is a common phrase used by Physiotherapists when clients ask what the best posture is. The pain which we develop from sitting at a desk is most commonly due to a built-up stiffness from lack of movement. Our Physio advises to get up and move from your desk every 45-60 minutes. If this isn’t possible, simple postural changes at your desk such as pelvic tilts, shoulder and neck rotations, and twists in your chair, are a great way to get a bit of movement whilst staying seated.

Preventative exercise

Exercise and mobility outside of the workplace is a vital part of staying pain-free whilst at your desk.

Any exercise is better than no exercise, so walking, cycling, swimming, boxing, yoga, and any other exercise is all beneficial and will help prevent aches and pains in your neck, upper and lower back.

There will be more specific exercises for you that will benefit you the most with regards to prevention of pain and discomfort. Seeing a Physiotherapist to discuss your habits and common postures, plus assess your spinal mobility and postural strength, will help develop a specific program for you to avoid ongoing desk-job pain.

So, the next time you find yourself grappling with desk job aches and pains, consider giving physiotherapy a try. It’s a practical, effective solution that can make a real difference in your comfort, productivity, and overall quality of life. With the support of a skilled physiotherapist, you can banish discomfort and reclaim control over your physical well-being.