Try this before you try anything else.
Does your occupation require periods of prolonged periods of time sitting at a desk, looking at a computer? You may start to feel the odd twinge in your back pain, or neck and shoulder pain.
The reason for this pain is that our bodies are made to move. Our spines are full of joints to enable us to bend and twist in all directions. So it is hardly surprising that sitting at a desk for hours in one static posture is likely to lead to trouble. Particularly if you have a poor posture which may look like the image below.
The image shows individual with rounded shoulders and thoracic spine and forward head posture. This posture increases individual risk factors to developing back and neck pain. Why is this?
The average human head weighs 12lbs. I often explain to my patients imagine holding a ten pin bowling ball close to your body, you could probably hold in this position for quite awhile. However if I asked you to hold the ball away from your body your arms would quickly fatigue and you drop the ball, just watch your feet! If you spend prolonged periods with a forward head posture your muscles in your neck, thoracic spine will eventually fatigue given rise to muscle spasm and pain. As you can see in the image below your head coming forward slightly (2”) as you may do as you work on your computer, you are increasing the load and demand on your muscles. Going from 12 lbs normal to 32 lbs.
Some simple advice if you work at your desk for prolonged periods of time is to get up regularly to give your spine a break.
Here is some simple advice to help reduce the risk of neck and back pain.
- Every 30 minutes, stand up or walk around briefly – it only needs to be for a less than a minute to give your back a chance to move.
- Make sure that your chair height is so that your eye’s are level with the top of the monitor of your PC, your PC and keyboard are straight in front of you, not to the side and that everything is at a comfortable distance from you. Bring your PC monitor and keyboard closer to you if you feel you are over stretching.
- Make sure you sit up in your chair, and that your bottom and shoulder blades are in contact with the back rest which is fully supporting – and are fully supporting you. If you have back pain, you may find it helps to place a small rolled up towel in the small of your back for support. Avoid crossing your legs. Avoid slouching.
These tips will all help to make sitting at your desk more ‘spine friendly’.
Back pain is one of the most common afflictions in the workplace. The best advice is simply not to sit for hours in one position. Keep moving! It’s FREE! Need to get your workforce moving, pain free? Contact me for a consultation today!.