Giving Your Makeshift Home Office A Makeover

Home Office Makeover

Now that the coronavirus pandemic of 2020/2021 is a year old in the United States, many workers have been forced into remote office work. As a practicing chiropractor of over 36 years, I’ve had many patients who are in this position. I recently had a patient who has been remoting gave me some interesting information about what her company is doing to help. This article will describe what her company is doing to help employees who are working from home. Some of these ideas might be examples other businesses could implement and will also be applicable to anyone who is self-employed and for those whose companies won’t participate in improving their home employment situation.

At the beginning of the pandemic lock down my patient, Beth, told me that her group of 10 people who work for a very large corporation in our city, were given laptop computers and software/internet access and told to work from home. Within a couple weeks they were all finding that they we’re beginning to have neck and back pain and headaches. They also found that their productivity was greatly diminished. They communicated this information back to their human resources department which resulted in positive action.

The company consulted ergonomics experts on what to do to improve things. The first step was to have a Zoom meeting with the 10 employees to find out problems they were having. The first recommendation was to set up a designated office area. A proper desk and chair, optimum screen height and keyboard and mouse location were initially recommended.

Regular follow up Zoom meetings were scheduled and further helpful ideas such as a sit/stand desk, standing and walking team conferences and phone calls and taking regular breaks to get up from the desk and move about were encouraged.

The team found that regular counseling from the ergonomic experts and from within their own group helped to provide valuable support. The team members themselves, developed some creative ideas for improvement. For example, several advancements were: having a soft light in the work area to reduce eyestrain, having a yoga/stretching mat to use periodically during the day to help counteract the physical stress of sitting, and a using large exterior monitor was much better than the screen of their laptop computer.

Beth’s company also pitched in with an initial monetary investment to help set up the home office and continued with a monthly stipend. Increased productivity within the group of 10 made this financial contribution a valuable return on investment.

Beth, her group, and her corporation found that by utilizing and implementing many ideas, developed over time, helped convert their makeshift home offices to makeover comfortable, productive, nearly ideal workspaces.

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Are My Hips Twisted?

Pain Relief From Pelvic Misalignment

Recently a lady who visited my chiropractic office for an evaluation of her lower back pain asked me: “Are my hips twisted?” She had an awareness that her weight was not being distributed evenly on both legs. She felt like she was bearing more weight on one side than the other. Her massage therapist and the tailor, who hemmed her dresses and skirts, said one of her hips was higher than the other. My patient wondered if her lower back pain was due to a mechanical alignment problem of her hips and pelvis.

Many times, a person’s pelvis can become misaligned and cause pain in a joint of the pelvis called the sacroiliac joint (SI joint). This condition can be helped with safe, gentle chiropractic care. This article will discuss pelvic alignment, sacroiliac joint pain and correction of SI joint conditions with chiropractic treatment. It will also introduce research showing that correct anatomical alignment of the pelvis can be improved with chiropractic adjustments.

Let’s start by explaining the anatomy of the pelvis and the sacroiliac joints. There is not one large bone making up the pelvic area of our body. This area, is in fact, made up of three separate bones. They are the two outer wing bones, called the iliac bones, and one central tailbone, called the sacrum. Between the iliac bones and the sacrum are the sacroiliac joints. The SI joints are gliding joints. When we walk they glide back-and-forth.

The tops of the iliac bones, which are called the iliac crests, ideally should be level to be in correct anatomical alignment. If one appears higher than the other, it usually indicates a mechanical misalignment of the pelvis. This malalignment puts stress on the sacroiliac joints which can result in pain. The pain is usually located to the side of the spine, in the area of the hip pocket of one’s pants. If a person’s pain is centrally located in the lower back it is usually not coming from the sacroiliac joint but the lower spine.

If there is a misalignment of the pelvis and the sacroiliac joints, chiropractors perform treatment to correct the condition by utilizing a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments are very safe, gentle and will reposition a malalignment of the bones. Most patients who go to chiropractors find that having a chiropractic adjustment is a pleasant experience because it corrects the mechanical misalignment.

A research study in December 2020, showed that chiropractic adjustments of the sacroiliac joints resulted in measurable changes of pelvic alignment. Correcting anatomical misalignments of the pelvis can be very helpful in improving lower back pain attributed to an SI joint problem.

When my patient wondered if her hips were twisted, I told her yes, and it was causing irritation of her pelvic sacroiliac joint and creating her painful lower back condition. I’m happy to report that once her hips and pelvis were in alignment, she was able to obtain sacroiliac joint pain relief.

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What Methods Do Chiropractors Utilize To Provide Neck Pain Relief

Neck Pain Relief

Most people know that chiropractors treat patients for neck pain. They may not be certain as to what approach chiropractors utilize to provide neck pain relief. This article will discuss common causes of neck pain and methods chiropractors use in treating this common malady.

There can be many causes of neck pain. However, a very common reason people develop neck pain is because they have mechanical or physical abnormalities of the upper spine. The spinal bones of the neck are called the cervical vertebrae. There are seven cervical vertebrae. Spinal nerves exit from openings between the cervical vertebrae on both sides of the neck. Additionally, there are joints between each of the cervical vertebrae on the right and left. These are called the facet joints.

If there is a mechanical, or physical misalignment up cervical vertebrae or if there is abnormal or improper movement of the cervical vertebrae it can pinch the cervical spinal nerves or cause irritation to the cervical facet joints. When this occurs, a person will experience neck pain of a mechanical origin.

Should this occur, a reasonable path of corrective action is to correct the malpositioned vertebrae and to restore normal movement of the facet joints. This is where doctors of chiropractic excel. Chiropractors are the preeminent healthcare providers, when it comes to relieving spinal neck pain. Chiropractors are the only professionals trained to diagnose and treat physical, mechanical alignment problems of spine pain. Most patients who go to chiropractors find that having a chiropractic adjustment is a safe, pleasant experience because it corrects the spinal misalignment.

Several methods of manual therapy can be used by the chiropractor. The doctor of chiropractic will initially meet with a patient and take their history, perform an examination and possibly take X Rays of the cervical spine. The doctor and the patient can then discuss the condition and arrive at an agreeable treatment approach.

One method of treatment a chiropractor utilizes is called manipulation. Manipulation may also be termed the chiropractic adjustment. This is usually a gentle, safe therapy for managing neck pain. A chiropractic adjustment involves a quick, mild movement of the doctor’s hands to bring about realignment of abnormally positioned cervical vertebrae. It is very safe and typically brings a good deal of neck pain relief to the patient.

Another treatment approach is to use mobilization. Mobilization is also performed with movement of the doctor’s hands, but it is a slower, gentle stretching of areas that is also designed to bring about proper cervical vertebrae alignment. Mobilization may take more visits for the patient to achieve neck pain relief then manipulation. However, depending on the patient, it may be the more prudent approach to take to achieve relief of neck discomfort.

These conservative approaches are preferred by many patients as they are natural and specifically correct the cause of the problem. No medications or surgery is needed when chiropractic care is utilized for neck pain relief. Most patients who undergo chiropractic care appreciate this natural, holistic form of health care.

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Tips On Working Remotely

Neck and Lower Back Pain Relief

The past year has introduced great changes in how the American workforce has had to radically change day to day activities. At the beginning of March 2020 many workers were expected to be physically present at their office. However, once the viral pandemic set in a large percentage began to work at home. As a practicing chiropractor of 36 years, I have seen how poor ergonomic situations have caused increased neck and lower back pain. This article will discuss changes in how many workers have had to compensate with working at home and how they can improve ergonomics so as to minimize spinal and other mechanical pain.

When the pandemic began many workers were given a laptop computer, internet access and possibly Zoom meeting technology and were expected to do the same job they had previously performed in their offices. I’ve been told by numerous patients that they were sitting on the couch, lying in bed and even sitting on the floor using their laptops. Not surprisingly, these folks soon began to develop spinal neck and back discomfort.

While I am more than happy to help them achieve pain relief through safe, gentle chiropractic care I also stress that it is imperative that they take proactive, preventative measures to keep from developing musculoskeletal pain all together.

I explained that they must, at least, have a chair and a desk. These must be at a proper height so as to sit straight and erectly. If possible, the chair’s back rest should have the ability for slight inclination forward and backward. The computer screen height should be oriented directly in front of the person. A separate keyboard and mouse are preferable to using a laptop’s keyboard and mouse. Ideally these items would fit on an adjustable keyboard and mouse tray.

A sit-stand workstation should be strongly considered. They are not expensive and can readily be purchased from sites on the Internet. Workers should be encouraged to use them liberally. I have found that many people enjoy standing all day to accomplish their tasks. However, even if a person stands only 10% of their workday it will still improve their ergonomic situation.

If a person has to participate in virtual meetings or take telephone calls it is certainly recommended that these be standing and walking opportunities. With a headset and microphone this can easily be accomplished.

While it has been said that there is nothing like the comforts of home, many would consider remote working to be a strong exception. Taking the right steps to create an improved ergonomic situation can make all the difference in the quality of one’s health.

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