Believe it or not, sitting can be bad for your back. Therefore, folks who have a desk job are at an increased risk of experiencing back pain. Since you are behind a computer all day and not out heavy lifting or performing manual labor you may think you and your back are safe, but think again. Improper sitting techniques and poor ergonomics may be just as detrimental as a physically demanding job.
If you are experiencing back pain that gets worse when sitting for long periods of time, a visit to a spine specialist may be warranted. However, before scheduling an appointment, you may want to try a few of the tips on how to sit pain free.
Be Proactive and Protect Your Back
If you work at a desk, you can take actions both in and out of the office to protect your back. Here are the top 4 things you can start doing right now to avoid future pain:
- Practice good posture. You have heard it time and time again: sit up straight and don’t slouch. Well, your parents may have been onto something. While sitting at your desk, good posture is important for proper spine alignment. Slouching or leaning could put your spine out of alignment, resulting in pain. Try placing your monitor at eye level to improve your posture while working.
- Strengthen your core. Your core is made up of your abdominal, back and pelvis muscles. Having a strong core helps to take pressure off of the back, relieving or preventing back pain.While there are dozens of core exercises available to protect your back, the most common are variations of the plank, sit-up, bridge, and crunch. As always, check with a medical professional before beginning a new workout regime.
- Get comfortable. If you spend most of the workday sitting, a comfortable, supportive chair is a must. In order to prevent back pain, make sure your chair height is adjusted so that your feet are flat on the floor or on a footrest, and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Use your armrests to lightly rest your arms while your shoulders are relaxed. Many office chairs include some type of lumbar support, which is crucial for supporting your back and removing pressure from your spine. If your chair is lagging in the support department, it may be time to get shopping. Finding the perfect office chair may be a challenge, but your back will thank you.
- Get up and moving. Sitting for too long is not healthy for anyone, especially someone with back pain. To combat this, get up every now and then to stretch your entire body. Set an alarm every hour to remind yourself to take a break or pencil it in on your calendar. During this break, take a lap around the office, or do a few exercises to stretch your back. While standing, reach for the ceiling, then touch your toes and repeat. Just a minute or two stretching each hour can do wonders to protect your back from too much sitting.
If sitting is still too uncomfortable, you may want to look into a standing desk. Standing desks provide many benefits for overall health.
Visit EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region for Back Pain Relief
If the tips above do not provide any relief, it is time to schedule a visit with EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region’s Spine and Pain clinic. Our providers are experts in diagnosing and treating back pain and will help eliminate the root cause of your pain once and for all. Request an appointment today!