Five tips for working from home on a Laptop or Desktop Computer  

By |2022-03-04T11:19:09+11:00March 3rd, 2022|Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain|

Have you ever noticed that you’re uncomfortable while working from home? It can be prolonged team video meetings or pieces of work that you become engrossed to the point that you look up and wonder where the last three hours went? You may feel that your head tends to creep forward towards the screen, your neck, shoulders and back protest, but you have difficulty ironing out the knots in your muscles. If it is not going away and you’re ready to make changes to help improve the situation. Here are some tips to make a start.

Your Desk?

It is best to start with your work surface. Choosing the right desk height is critical. Aim to have your forearms horizontal with elbows at 90 degrees. Your seat height may need to be adjusted.

Your Seat?

Next, source a dedicated and adjustable office seat. Sarah Thiele of Kerwin Interiors has provided thoughtful and invaluable advice when we have upgraded our office furniture over several years. One of the critical tips she gave us was to remove the arms on our office chairs. You can move the seat further underneath a desk/work surface and increase the likelihood of a much more comfortable position in front of our desktop computers. Pay that little bit more to access higher quality and longer-lasting furniture.

We replaced a couple of office chairs that we had bought over 15 years ago. The gas lifts had worn out. It is fascinating to see that more up to date chairs are broader and more comfortable. You get used to sitting in a chair that has slowly worn out. Even the new foam was more supportive. lol

Under Your Seat?

Using a chair-mat helps by reducing rolling resistance, making it easier to move from A to B in the office. Conversely, if you are on a slippery floor, specially designed castors can be retrofitted to improve the grip on the floor, reducing your fatigue of holding the chair in one place.

Your Computer Screen?

Set up a sitting or standing position as close as possible to what you would for a desktop. So, get a laptop raiser, a separate keyboard and a mouse. It’s best to have the top of the screen at eye-height

Set up for two monitors.  

I don’t have this set up: yet, but. I noticed this advice from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety.

Like using a single monitor, an appropriate set up of dual (two) monitors is essential to help reduce work-related musculoskeletal injuries.

First, determine how much you use each monitor. Do you use both equally or one most of the time?

If you use both monitors equally (about 50/50):

  • Place both monitors as close as possible in front of you. The inner edges should touch and be directly in front of you.
  • Place the monitors at an angle, creating a semi-circle.

If you use one monitor more often (about 80/20):

  • Place the monitor you use most directly in front of you as if it was a single monitor.
  • Place the secondary monitor on one side and at an angle (half of a semi-circle).
  • You may find one eye is more dominant than the other. Place the secondary monitor on the side of your dominant eye.

In both cases, monitors should still be about an arm’s length away and at the same height (eye level or slightly lower if using corrective lenses).

Your Body?

Your body needs to move. So, you need to stop and rest now and then. The length of time depends on you but taking a break each 40 – 60 minutes can help prevent fatigue. Two of the most common areas of the body that are affected include the neck and shoulders and the lower back. Here are links to videos to help you stretch these areas and lower the tension levels.


If you have addressed these issues and need help with muscle strain or spinal or joint soreness, we can offer help, advice and support to assist your recovery.


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Tight Shoulders holding you back?

By |2018-10-17T17:58:34+11:00October 17th, 2018|Shoulder Pain|

There are actually many ways in which people come to see us about tight shoulders. It can be as simple as feeling like you’re wearing your shoulders a lot closer to your ears than you feel they should be. People have said things like

  • I feel like my shoulders are up so high that they are like my earrings
  • I am having trouble holding my head up.
  • Both my shoulders and neck are so tight that I can’t turn my head properly.
  • I woke up with a wry neck.
  • I can’t reach to do up my bra or comb my hair.
  • I can’t lift my arm up more than the level of my shoulder.
  • I have problems getting my arm into my jacket.
  • I have trouble carrying my handbag.
  • I’m getting headaches that seem to come from my shoulders.
  • I can’t lie on the shoulder that is sore when I sleep because it aches.
  • I’ve got an ache right out on the tip of my shoulder.
  • I can’t turn over in bed without waking up because of pain.

These are situations where remedial massage can help.

The trick is to work out which muscles cause the issue. The next step is massaging to reduce the tension in the muscles and tendons. This encourages blood flow and healing. The muscles can affect the movement in the joints. Working on the muscles can help free up stiff joints like the shoulder and neck.

Some of the things that come after a visit to Backstroke Massage:

  • Ability to move with less or no pain.
  • Greater confidence to play sport or do the normal activities that you love.
  • Feel physically and not just mentally tired after a good work out.
  • Better sleep because you aren’t being woken up by pain when you turn in bed.
  • Recover better and waked up refreshed rather than drained.

Call 9888 6877 to find out more or make a time to discuss and analyse why you are having tight shoulders. Book yourself an appointment online. Wait no more.

Why accept that it’s what you should expect now that you are getting “older”. Take action without having to take one more medication.


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Rotator Cuff Problems

By |2017-10-27T13:04:02+11:00February 14th, 2016|Shoulder Pain|

You know that you are having this problem when:

  • You can’t lift your hand and arm out to the side and above your head.
  • It hurts when you lie on your shoulder in bed.
  • You get pain and restriction reaching behind you trying to get something on the back seat of the car.
  • It hurts when you try to comb your hair or to do up your bra.

What I do to help this sort of problem:

  • I start by determining which muscles are involved, how long you have had it and whether it is inflamed.
  • Once we reduce the inflammation, I can proceed to work on the tightened muscles.
  • The rotator cuff is a set of muscles starting from your shoulder blade and attaching at various sites around the top of the arm bone. They form a sort of cup around the ball of the arm bone. They sit at the top bottom front back and sides of the arm bone.
  • I look at how you are moving your shoulder and this informs me as to which muscles are affected.
  • In addition to the rotator cuff muscles there are larger muscles that may be affected, especially if you’ve had the injury for a while. They can hold your shoulder in a protective posture. They may also need remedial work. So as to bring them back to their normal tension and position.
  • Usually with rotator cuff problems, there is micro damage to some of the muscles and /or their tendons. My treatment involves very gentle pressure to release tension in the muscles. This encourages blood flow into the area of damage. As a result the hardened trigger points (tender or non-tender spots) within the muscle are softened. I can then stretch the muscle and the normal movement is possible again.
  • I aim to work very subtly so that you don’t feel overwhelmed with pain the following day. This means you can continue to move which facilitates your recovery.

What are the benefits?

  • As a result of treatment you can:
    • Move your shoulder again without hesitation.
    • Sleep more comfortably; especially on your side without being woken up
    • Reduce or avoid prolonged anti-inflammatory medication.
    • Do your normal daily activities like:
      • Combing your hair
      • Doing up your bra
      • Reaching into the back seat of your car
      • Putting the clothes on the line

Why wait any more for it to heal by itself?

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