Back pain is a major problem in the American work force. When your job involves physical labor, you become prone to injuries from repetitive movement. Often lifting is a major culprit of injury cause. On the other hand, working in an office can put you at serious risk due to musculo-skeletal injuries. At the desk, stagnation is the issue and gravity is the enemy. Poor sitting habits should be avoided at all costs.
There are many methods for preventing back pain and treating back injuries. As chiropractors dig deeper into the causes of work injuries, more information allows to become capable of taking care of our spines. In this article, you’ll find simple and effective adjustments that will help you avoid back pain in the office.
The Top 3 Chiropractic Tips for the Office
1. Take a Break Every 30 Minutes
In a study performed in 2013, 27.4% of people will start to experience backpain within the first 3 hours of working consecutively. Taking short breaks is a major contributor to the reduction and prevention of back pain.
When working for long periods of time, gravity starts to weigh down on the body. While the support structure of the spine certainly helps to keep you upright, over time the supportive muscles start to tire and fatigue. This is usually experienced as aches and pains in the lower, middle and upper back.
By taking a short break, you’re allowing the muscles to loosen up. Circulation improves, providing nutrient-rich blood to the areas of the back that have been stagnant. Usually a quick 2-3 minute break is all you need to refreshen the back and spine. Use this time to grab a cup of coffee, get a bit of sunshine, or chat with a co-worker.
2. Invest in an Ergonomic Chair
Look into purchasing a chair that will encourage you to keep proper posture while you’re sat down at your desk. When you sit up straight, you’re leveraging the robust structure of the spine to keep you upright. On the contrary, when you slouch, the muscles have to work to keep you upright, which ultimately results in back pain.
A proper ergonomic chair encourages you to sit up straight. Many chairs are built for comfort, which is usually perceived as a reclining position. While this may be comfortable in the short term, in the long run, the lack of posture and core development will likely result in spinal issues.
These days many chiropractors are recommending alternative chair designs that lack a back rest feature, such as kneeling chairs and exercise ball chairs. With the absence of a back rest, the body is required to sit up straight as it cannot rely on the back rest to keep it up right. The body’s natural resting position, when unaided, is perfect posture. When the vertebrae stack on one another, the least amount of exertion is required.
Often, office furniture expenses don’t need to come out of your pocket. Most businesses recognize the importance of keeping their employees healthy and assisting them in avoiding time off due to injury. Check with your HR department to see what kind of assistance they have available.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated improves circulation and helps to supply the muscles with nutrients. This allows them to stay supple, limber, and prevents them from locking up and spasming. Often when you experience a headache due to neck cramping, this is a likely culprit. Read more here.
Office settings are typically dehydrating environments. The AC is constantly running and we’re sipping dehydrating coffee and sodas to keep energized. It thus becomes extremely important to stay hydrated. Make sure to at least drink a proper 8 glasses of water per day. Your back will be much happier if you do.
Check out this video from a chiropractor in Minnesota that gives some fundamental tips on how to avoid back pain and headaches at work: