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Is working from home causing you pain?

January 21, 2021

Palatine resident Tiffany had successfully transitioned her job responsibilities to a new home workspace for several months before she started to notice pain in her back, neck and arms. Like most everyone, her lifestyle had changed dramatically during the pandemic and along with the change in routine from working from home full-time, she was also missing her strengthening classes at the gym.

Tiffany thought changing up her work station at home would help ease her pain, but found no relief. Her initial advice from a doctor was simple pain medication, but realizing that wasn’t a good long term-solution, she asked for a referral for physical therapy (PT).

Now Tiffany is coming to the NCH Wellness Center twice a week for a total of ten physical therapy sessions. She is coached through strength exercises and stretching for her arms, back and neck.

Physical therapy is covered by most insurance plans. In Tiffany’s case they cover the cost after the co-insurance is paid and the deductible is met.

“I highly recommend NCH physical therapy if you are experiencing pain from working from home,” said Tiffany. “My therapist is great!”


Jerry Bragg, Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Theresa Even, Physical Rehabilitation Services Manager, welcome patients to physical therapy in the NCH Wellness Center.

From the experts at NCH

Here are three important things people who work from home should know to help reduce the chance of neck or back discomfort.

  • Many factors work together to help achieve proper workstation posture and alignment including sitting up straight, proper head position, foot placement, arm support and more.
  • Correct monitor, keyboard and mouse placement is key and can reduce the chance of injury and pain.
  • Get up out of your chair and move every 30 minutes.

NCH physical therapist Theresa Even recommends simple posture corrections throughout the day, shoulder blade squeezes, gentle neck stretches and neck retractions (chin tucks).

Even explains the benefits of a PT evaluation. “A detailed and thorough assessment of a primary complaint including pain, posture, mobility, strength and function will allow a physical therapist to develop a specific treatment and education plan. That way, individuals and PTs can work together to reduce pain and address dysfunction contributing to pain.”

It is important to know that a doctor’s order is not required for physical therapy in the state of Illinois. There are some insurance policies and carriers that do require a physician’s order; however the majority of NCH patients are not required to obtain an order. When registering for physical therapy our scheduling team can assist in getting a physician order if needed.

For more information about outpatient physical therapy at NCH visit https://www.nch.org/conditions/rehabilitation/physical-therapy/ or call 847-618-1000.

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