I am sitting at a desk or computer all day and I’ve noticed I’m having more back pain. Could there be a connection?
It seems as though more often than ever we hear individuals complain about their back hurting after sitting at a desk or a computer all day. The working paradigm is shifting as more people have desk jobs now than ever before. 100 years ago, the majority of back pain complaints related to work were seemingly linked to jobs involving manual labor. In example, those working in factories with the repetitive motions and hard lifting – easily explained right? But why do you have aches and pain after sitting all day long? When you sit all day long, your body sees this as a repetitive activity as it recruits the same muscles over and over again in order to keep you sitting upright. But, as the day goes on your posture tends to get worse and creates even more of a burden for that back to bear. Poor posture, lack of motion, and an unsupportive chair is a recipe for pain.
What can you do to decrease this burden on your back?
- Improve your posture. Keep both feet planted on the ground and make sure there is a 90° angle at your knees with your thighs parallel to the floor. Make sure your lower back meets the chair’s lumbar support (if needed, get a chair with better support). Have your shoulders stacked and square with your hips. Do not let your shoulders roll forward, where your shoulders go, your neck will follow. Your ear holes should line up with your shoulders if you were to look at yourself from the side. This posture will maintain all of the curves of your spine, ensuring proper support and muscle balance.
- Move your body. Take a few minutes every half hour to stand up, stretch, or take a quick walk. This will activate some different muscles of your back and give your postural muscle a break now and then.
- Get adjusted. Making sure that your spine is well aligned is key to improving posture, relieving pain, and preventing future flare ups.
- Strengthen your core. Any workouts that strengthen your core, your core meaning all the muscles that are near and dear to your spine, will help to prevent back pain and alleviate muscle soreness.
Dr. Josh of Watkins Family Chiropractic enjoys helping patients improve their posture, and has over 10 years experience doing so with individuals of the Savage, Prior Lake, and Burnsville areas. With spinal adjustments, useful stretches, and easy to follow core exercises, posture improvement is attainable in one easy location.