DES MOINES, Iowa — Many people have been working from home for almost a year, and according to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractors are seeing more patients with neck pain, back pain and musculoskeletal issues.
Dr. Jacob Boyle, owner of Central Health Chiropractic, said with the three to four new clients he averages every few days, neck and back pain are their problems.
"In the years prior to COVID most of the time, I was seeing people for ... it was like acute injuries, low back kind of stuff," Boyle said. "Now ... they'll come in and they have the exact same thing, just tension in the upper back."
The common denominator with most of his new clients? Working from home and bad posture.
"This is something chronic," Boyle said. "This is [a] condition that has been progressing for a long time."
He mentioned when people work from home, one of the problems he noticed when speaking with clients is they are not utilizing a good at-home office setup.
They are sitting on couches which do not offer good spine support, or they are sitting too far forward, meaning their head is farther away from their body.
Those combinations of things that have been happening for months at this point, are leading to major discomforts.
Dr. Jefferey Stickel, chiropractor at Adio Chiropractic Clinic, has also seen more people come into his office, who work from home, complaining of back tension, neck problems and headaches.
Those discomforts need to get checked out sooner or later, because if not it could become serious.
"If left unattended it could lead to degeneration," Stickel said. "That's when the calcium and the discs in the spine fuse.
Short-term issues could take several adjustments to fix, but if individuals want to avoid that step, it's important to work at a table or desk, sit up straight and make sure the core is engaged at all times.
Both chiropractors agree it's important to get up from your spot every 15 to 30 minutes to keep your body active.