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Reflections from a Roscoe Physio Intern: Week One (and tips for easing neck and shoulder pain!!)

Olivia Barner

Hello everyone! My name is Olivia, and I am just beginning my journey as an intern at Roscoe Physiotherapy. I am a recent graduate of Slippery Rock University, where I earned a degree in Exercise Science and a degree in Dance. I will be interning for the entirety of the summer to conclude my studies. I am working closely with Dr. Allyssa Grata, as I assist her with her current clients, as well as eventually taking on some of my own fitness and training clients.

As part of my internship I will be sharing weekly blog posts with all of you, both to share about my journey and also provide any tips, tricks, and tools you can implement for healthier living!

My first week at Roscoe Physiotherapy has consisted of meeting clients and learning more about what brings them in for physical therapy. It has been very interesting to hear why each client was needing therapy, as well as what motivates them. The clientele consists of individuals who are coming off an injury and are experiencing pain, those who have recently had a surgery, or those who simply have a chronic pain that they hope to ease or diminish completely.

One of my favorite parts of the internship so far is learning about and making relationships with the clients. Each client has a unique story about what brings them in to the facility. Whether they are experiencing chronic pain, have just had an operation, or have just experienced an injury, they all have one common goal: to get back to the things they love to do, free of pain! It is very common for individuals to feel restrained and held back by their pain, and it can interfere with doing the things they love like exercising, hobbies, and everyday activities. They have come to the right place when they choose Roscoe Physiotherapy to relieve this pain as they focus on getting to the root cause of the problem and solving the real underlying issues once and for all!

Several clients who have come in experience severe neck and shoulder pain. Since the pandemic, many people now work remotely from home and are on their computer or laptop most of the day. Many individuals may be on a computer all day at their job in person, as well. Typing on a laptop or computer for a prolonged period may encourage poor posture. While this poor posture is likely unintentional, it influences our bodies and may ultimately cause pain and soreness in the neck, shoulders, and back. Have no fear, though, posture can be corrected and avoided!

Here are a few tips to help you combat neck and shoulder pain if you find yourself sitting in a “hunched over” position during the day….

  • First, attempt to create an environment that is comfortable to do work in. Ensure that you are in a comfortable and supportive chair. Maybe even add a small pillow or chair cushion to sit on! Additionally, try to keep your computer screen at eye level. Your computer may have a feature to adjust the height of the monitor to eye level. If you are working from a laptop, consider a laptop stand and a Bluetooth keyboard. This will allow you to look straight ahead, instead of down which creates tension in the neck and shoulders.

  • Second, make sure to take breaks from your computer now and then, ideally once an hour. During these breaks, stand up, move around, and give yourself a chance to stand up nice and tall and relax your shoulders.

  • Last, there are many exercises you can do that can help you get relief in your neck, shoulders, and upper back. It’s important to know the right ones to do based upon your individual body and needs and it’s not necessarily a “one size fits all” approach. If you find yourself searching online for exercises you can do on your own, it might be time to give the team at Roscoe Physiotherapy a call! An evaluation with a physical therapist can help determine your issues and what specifically can be done to solve the problem once and for all!

Thank you for reading about my first week here and I hope you found these tips helpful! You can share this post with someone you know who might be suffering or complaining about their neck or shoulder pain when working from home. I look forward to sharing more with you over the next few months! If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you reach your health and fitness goals, simply email us at and we can get you on track to reaching your goals!

Olivia Barner Bio

Olivia Barner is a 2021 graduate of Slippery Rock University where she received two degrees, BS Exercise Science and BFA in Dance. She will be an intern at Roscoe Physiotherapy through August 2021!


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