There’s a painful coronavirus “side effect” none of us ever expected. And you don’t even have to get the infection to experience this one.
Because it isn’t actually caused by the COVID-19 bug itself. In fact, in many ways, it’s caused by NOT getting it.
Because the longer we stay inside… the more time we spend watching TV, using our computers, and messing with our phones… the more likely we are to suffer from this specific form of neck pain misery.
Usually, this kind of neck pain is limited to office workers or folks who have to be hunched over completing tasks all day. But now, even people who haven’t set foot in an office in ages are battling neck and upper back pain.
It’s a new spin on what’s commonly known as “tech neck,” from the overuse of devices. Except now, it’s “quarantine neck.”
And it’s all because of the massive change in daily habits that swept the nation as we enacted shelter in place” and “quarantine” rules.
But there are a couple of simple steps you can take to help chase away those aches.
How quarantine becomes a LITERAL pain in the neck
Let’s face it. Our habits were changing even before the coronavirus.
It’s easier than ever to spend entire days inside. And you can accomplish almost anything you need to do, even shopping, without leaving home.
But even in this plugged-in, always-online era, most of us still mixed it up each day before the virus struck.
We got out. We did our own shopping. Went out to ea. Met up with friends. We engaged in a variety of daily activities that assured we didn’t strain one part of the body all day long leading to the dreaded neck pain.
When coronavirus hit, that changed. Rapidly.
With most of us staying inside – and even getting things like groceries delivered – the main diversion has become screens. From the big one in the living room to the smaller ones that fit in a palm, we spend hours staring at them.
That’s led to NECK PAIN. A lot of it.
Reduce the strain to reduce the neck pain
According to the Wall Street Journal, a quick survey of chiropractors found that 90 percent said their patients were suffering from more neck pain since stay-at-home orders kicked in.
Some are even getting panicked phone calls from patients in pain. And in most cases, they’ve found, it’s because they’re spending too much time craned over screens, often with poor ergonomics to boot.
Some are office workers trying to adjust to work-from-home conditions. Others are just people staying in all day, using those same screens to help pass all this sudden free time.
If you have “quarantine neck” yourself… or just want to make sure you avoid it… it’s time to take some of that strain off.
- Sitting: When you sit, use proper posture. That means sitting up straight with your shoulders back and relaxed, and not hunched over. Plus, practice good ergonomics if you’re working at a desk with your mouse and keyboard at elbow height, the screen at, or slightly below, eye level, and an arm’s length away.
- Moving: Don’t spend too much time watching TV or reading your phone in bed. Get up and stretch often. And spend a little time outside each day, going for a walk.
- Soothing: And if your neck is still creaky, try a topical nondrug solution such as MSM, menthol, and/or capsaicin.
It’s a simple but effective plan. Following these three steps should quickly help reduce the strain and erase the neck pain.