Is Working From Home a Pain in Your Neck?

Feb 12, 2024
Is Working From Home a Pain in Your Neck?
There are many wonderful things about working from home, but the way it increases your risk for neck problems isn’t one of them. Poor ergonomics, bad posture, and too much screen time can play a role. Take a moment to learn more.

If you’ve noticed new neck pain after working from home, you’re not alone. More than a quarter of American adults experience neck pain, and an increase in the number of people working from home shows this problem spreading even more. 

While working from home can provide many benefits, it leads to new or worsening neck pain for many different reasons. These include ergonomics, posture, and bad habits that you might not have had at the office. 

Fortunately, at the Center for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery, neurosurgeon Praveen Reddy, MD, M.Ch, and our team are experts at easing neck pain and stopping it from coming back.

At our Texas offices, we have your neck pain covered. Take a moment to learn more about neck pain, how it’s linked to working from home, and how we provide relief from this uncomfortable condition. 

How does working from home trigger neck pain?

The ability to work from home gives you more flexibility and eliminates tiring commutes to the office, but it can also lead to a number of situations that trigger neck pain. 

Extensive screen time, lack of movement, improper posture, and poor ergonomics in your home office all have one thing in common: They make it more likely for your head to be forward out of the neutral position. 

Tipping your head forward when looking down at your laptop or while scrolling through emails on your phone puts stress on your neck and can move discs out of position. This movement puts pressure on your cervical spine and can strain the ligaments, muscles, and nerves, leading to issues like:

  • Inflammation
  • Migraines
  • Pinched nerves
  • Headaches
  • Pulled muscles and ligaments
  • Slipped or herniated discs 
  • Nerve-related symptoms like tingling or pins and needles

If you have any degenerative conditions, this stress can cause them to worsen. 

How is working-from-home neck pain treated?

If new or worsening neck pain has been bothering you, see a specialist, like Dr. Reddy, for an evaluation. Only a medical professional can properly diagnose the underlying cause and rule out any complications. 

At your appointment, Dr. Reddy evaluates your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical exam to determine the cause of your neck pain. He then creates a customized neck pain treatment plan to target your specific needs. 

At the Center for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery, we like to start with conservative approaches such as posture correction, physical therapy, and how to make your home office more ergonomic. 

At-home treatments like ice packs, hot compresses, and anti-inflammatory pain medication may also help. 

If your condition is more severe and conservative treatments don’t provide relief, Dr. Reddy may recommend cervical spine injections containing steroid medication and/or a local anesthetic. Or he may recommend an epidural, facet joint, or injection in another location. 

In extreme cases, you may require surgery to treat your neck pain. Dr. Reddy and our team specialize in minimally invasive techniques — like endoscopic and robotic-assisted spine surgery — that spare your tissue. Surgeries may include:

  • Microdiscectomy (partial disc removal) 
  • Discectomy (entire disc removal)
  • Spinal fusion 
  • Artificial disc replacement

If you’re ready to seek help for your neck pain, we’re here to help. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at the Center for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery nearest you. We have offices in Spring, Conroe, Kingwood, Willis, and The Woodlands, Texas.

book appointment