Did you know that back pain is the second most common reasons for missed work, next to the common cold, or that experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives? Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs!
With back and neck pain being so commonplace in the work force, surely there has to be something we can do to combat it, right? Here are some helpful tips you can use to help avoid becoming part of the 80%.
Sit up Straight!
For those of us working from an office chair, posture is a very important factor in our spine’s health! First off choose a chair with good lumbar support, if this isn’t possible, roll up a towel and place it in the natural curve of your low back for added support.
Next align your head and neck right above your shoulders and avoid straining forward. For every inch of forward head posture, the weight of the head on the spine can increase by 10 pounds!
Position yourself so that your torso is about an arm’s length away from the monitor and make sure the top third of the monitor is at eye level. Keep your shoulders low and avoid having them creep up by your ears. Your upper back and neck will thank you!
Keep your feet flat on the floor, with knees at 90 degrees and shoulder-width apart to quiet tension in your knees and ankles. If your chair or desk height isn’t adjustable, rest your feet on a prop, like a footrest or even a phone book.
Get up and move!
Set an alarm on your phone or watch to buzz every 20-30 minutes. Strengthening your core muscles with exercise works your stomach as well your back, which naturally improves your posture and reduces pain. So hop up, do a couple yoga moves or even better, the strengthening exercises your chiropractor gave you. Even just getting up to go to the bathroom or simply doing some shoulder rolls reduces pressure on the discs in our spine and helps increase circulation.
Researchers suggest at least half your hours at work should be spent standing up so if you are lucky enough to have a sit-stand workstation, alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.
Visit your Chiropractor regularly!
Countless studies conducted by the medical profession have surfaced over the years that add evidence in support of the value of chiropractic maintenance care for its role in the prevention and treatment of low back pain. This includes a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in April of 2011 that followed 894 injured workers for a period of one year. During that year there were four different types of therapy available to the workers: medical management, physical therapy, chiropractic, and no therapy. Episodes of repeat disability were recorded during the year following the initial injury. The lowest incidence of repeat injury was found among those workers who had received chiropractic maintenance care.