Developing A Pain In The Neck

developing a pain in the neckWhat to do when it's a pain in the neck working from home?

Now I love working from home in my online business, but one of the problems is that I love it too much, and I don't quite know when to stop! That leads to long hours at the computer.

The bad news is that I have developed chronic neck and shoulder pain, almost certainly caused by bad posture sitting for too long at the computer.

It's too long a saga to explain the other (grandchildren related!) story that finally prompted me to go to a chiropractor to be told what was fairly obvious to everyone who knows me – even me! Namely, bad posture and too many hours at the computer. But you don't really like to admit they're right!

Chronic Neck And Shoulder Pain

The pain probably started about six months ago. But I was busy with my Dad's ill-health and keeping my business going at the same time, so I neglected it. Finally I gave in, paid my money, visited a chiropractor and started the journey of looking for neck pain help. Although the chiropractor gave me some excellent tips, and focused my mind on improving the problem – somehow that focus keeps straying to my home business, which is much more interesting than watching my posture.

As a further call to action, the other day my friend Sonal Talwar had a helpful post on her health blog with tips for promoting a healthy back. When you've read that, please come back here and read what I did to supplement the neck pain relief tips from Sonal and what the chiropractor advised!

Bad Posture Sitting At The Keyboard

Yes, it's as simple as that (probably with a dose of stress thrown in for good measure). A perfect recipe for my pain in the neck

I know the theory of good posture and bad posture, and I start each working day with the best of intentions.

pain in the neck worse while sleeping

But somehow it doesn't take long to forget and get engrossed in my work, at which point I find myself slumped at the desk again.

Stupidly enough, while I'm engrossed in my work I forget all about my neck pain, which can so easily lead me to forgetting about my posture too. My pain in the neck is worst when I'm in bed, or supposedly relaxing. No wonder Blogging After Dark is more fun than laying awake in pain.


Posture Minder

Posture MinderWhile browsing a friend's Facebook Group I spotted this post.

Ian had found a Google Chrome extension called Posture Minder – and it's free! Click the link or just Google it to find Posture Minder.

It reminds you to sit up straight, and watch your posture, etc, with pop-up notifications at specified time intervals.

Downloading and configuring Posture Minder was quick and easy, and within minutes I was getting reminders such as those below.

Now it sits on my Chrome toolbar behind a little “spine” icon – like the one shown on the reminder images below.

When configuring Posture Minder, you can choose either (or both) of a Posture Reminder and a Walk Reminder, which of course reminds you to get up every so often. The number of minutes between each reminder is user-configurable, so you can decide whether to let it automatically close after a user-determined time, or stay on screen until you click to dismiss it.

A sound reminder can be turned On or Off. Mine is firmly Off.

posture minder app

You might think such frequent reminders would be annoying – a pain in the neck in fact. Instead the only thing that annoyed me at first was how quickly after the last reminder I had forgotten my posture and slumped again. Old habits die hard.

The messages are very varied and of a friendly nature, so I accept them with good humour.

walk reminder app

After a few days of reminders, I find myself making a deliberate effort to “beat Posture Minder” and be sitting up straight before I get “told off” again.

While I won't pretend to have perfect posture now and be pain-free, I can already feel the benefit.

If working from home (or in your job) has started to become a “Pain in the neck”, I recommend downloading Posture Minder. It certainly won't harm you to improve your posture.