Private Physiotherapists


After a few weeks of many people working from home, we’ve seen an increase in referrals for people with back and neck pain, with no history of trauma, solely due to a change in lifestyle.

Lockdown has meant that many of us, overnight, had to switch from working in the office to working from the “home office”. The quick change meant that many of us were unable to set up our work stations correctly, without the correct chair, monitor height and therefore has lead to many of us experiencing back and neck pain. A more sedentary lifestyle has emerged as a consequence of lockdown for many, which has meant that we have spent more time sitting watching tv, working longer hours or sitting in the car for extended periods of time.

In addition people no longer had to commute to work which can often, if taking public transport require you to be stood for extended periods of time. We have also have far fewer interruptions and so have spent a more prolonged time sitting at a computer, often with poor ergonomics.

Many of us would have quickly made an appointment with our local physiotherapist but with lockdown measures and shielding, this is no longer at option for many. At Physio Answers, we also provide online physiotherapy sessions as well as face-to-face appointments.

Common presentations:

  • Recurring issues in neck and lower back from a previous episode (often disc related).
  • Pain and stiffness in the neck and back.
  • Pain in the ribs or middle of the back.
  • Wrist/arm pain, sometimes with pins and needles.
  • Headaches

Virtual assessments throughout lockdown have allowed us to actually see the working set up in people’s homes which has proven invaluable. Some of the most common problems that were noted were:

  • People were using a laptop instead of desktop computers, meaning extended period of slouching or perhaps sitting somewhere such as dinner tables and sofas.
  • Incorrect desk/table height, encouraging slouching or overextending of the spine and neck.
  • Poor chairs (even those sold as office chairs) with feet not being flat on the floor, poor back support and height of the chair, causing elbow and wrist pain as well.
  • Significantly increased time sitting at the computer.

When the body, especially the spine, is held for prolonged periods in the wrong position it puts stress on spinal structures and they start to fail and cause pain. The muscles of your back can become overworked, tight and uncomfortable. Sitting in such a position can also cause the joints to be held in the wrong position for extended periods of time putting unwanted stress on these points.

Tips to help prevent neck and back pain – Online Physiotherapy

  • Invest in a separate keyboard, which will allow your screen can be at eye level whilst you work.
  • Take regular breaks. Set an alarm if necessary. Get up walk round stretch etc.
  • Ensure your chair is supporting you in a good position. Use pillows or cushions to help.
  • Ensure the desk is at the correct height. The NHS have some good guidelines which you can read here
  • Feet should be flat on the floor with knees at 90 degrees. use a box or books if you are unable to do so.
  • Avoid if at all possible working whilst sitting on the bed or sofa.

If you start experiencing pain or stiffness

  • Assess your work station
  • Apply heat or ice-depending on which feels best.
  • Try some gentle stretches.
  • Avoid high impact activities or heavy lifting for a few days.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Take simple painkillers or anti-inflammatories as directed

If you are struggling with any of the above and would like to have an assessment, get in touch today. We have both face to face and online physiotherapy available. Click here to contact us now

Photo credit: Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

Physio Answers - Lewisham

Contact our Lewisham clinic based at Anytime
Fitness Birdwood Avenue Lewisham SE13 6UR.

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Physio Answers - Leyton

Visit our physiotherapists based at our Leyton clinic -
300 High Road, Leyton, E10 5PW.

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Physio Answers - Southend

Find us at 36 Eastern
Esplanade, Southend, Essex, SS1 2ES.

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