My neck hasn’t been my friend of late. I have spent the last 10 years working in an office, I am active and I keep fit by going to the gym. However, I have been really suffering with a bad neck for the last year or so. I don’t remember when it started; I just know that the last three months have been the most painful.
When I would sit at work I would feel the tension growing up my right arm, my shoulder started to ache and I would often get headaches. I didn’t think it was to do with my posture at work until I spoke to an occupational therapist. I figured I had slept funny or pulled a muscle at the gym, but as soon as I released that my desk was to blame it seemed to make perfect sense.
I had been to the Doctors a few times who didn’t really seem too concerned. I was always given pills for the pain and told to do some gentle exercises, and that was pretty much it. A good friend of mine suggested I go to an osteopath and he was really good. I would go for a treatment, feel sore as hell the next day but then it would ease off for a few weeks.
Changes Were Required
The occupational therapist was sent to me after I told my boss about the pain I was experiencing. It was starting to affect my work more and more and I had to have a few days off. I felt that I needed to tell someone, and I wish I had gone to my boss a lot sooner. I have received nothing but support. The occupational therapist came and accessed my work space. They told me that my desk was too high and my chair too low. My computer was not at a good angle and the headaches were probably caused by glare off the screen in addition to the pain up my arm.
I was given a new chair, my desk was adjusted and I was shown how to have my desk arranged. My boss also brought in a Reiki specialist who now comes and gives treatments frequently to all of the staff. It’s amazing and I have started to feel a lot more relaxed, which in turn has been beneficial to the tension I kept in my muscles.
You have probably seen all the news articles in the paper lately concerning the dangers of office work. If you sit for longer than six hours a day it can have some serious health implications. Well, that worries me a lot. I work at a desk for at least six hours a day. I try to walk at lunch and when I make calls I do stand-up now, but is that really enough? They say even if you go to the gym after work your health is still in danger. What can you do? It worries me.
Having the Right Support Make all the Difference
I have spoken to our wonderful occupational therapist at work who has been working with my boss to try and introduce healthy methods of work. We are encouraged to take more breaks now and I believe standing workspaces are being looked at, although I am not so keen on that idea I suppose it could be a way to go. I am just not sure if it will make my neck play up again.
I am so grateful to be working for a company that cares about their employees. I was so concerned about losing my job due to the time off I was having, but instead they have proven to be nothing but supportive. My neck still plays up occasionally but it’s nothing compared to how it was.
Does your company provide adequate health and safety care? Consider smsts courses to train up your staff and help reduce work related illness.