Sitting at your desk for an extended period of time can eventually cause pain and discomfort. Studies show that back and neck discomfort that stem from poor sitting posture or substandard work environment can ultimately lead to unproductivity on the job. A chiropractic visit is beneficial in realigning the back, alleviating neck and back discomfort, and increase productivity; however, it may be necessary to adjust your work space and the way you interact with it in order to prevent future problems related to neck and/or back discomfort.
One of the biggest promoters of back pain comes from the lack of support in the low back. The following five steps are practical ways to better your work experience, support your low back, and mend back and neck pain.
- Low Back: An adjustable and comfortable chair is a worthy investment. If you do not have an adjustable and comfortable chair, try placing a pillow between your back and the chair. If you are experiencing back pain often, try placing a heat pad or ice pack in between your back and the pillow.
- Chair Position: If you are sitting at a desk writing or typing, your chair should be in a position that allows your wrists and forearms to rest straight and parallel to the ground. Your elbows should lay by your body and form an L-shape at the elbow joint.
- Legs and Feet: Your feet should rest flat on the ground. This neutral position discounts the tendency to move around to find a comfortable position. In general, avoid crossing your legs as it may interfere with blood flow, put pressure on one of the hips, becomes uncomfortable after an extended period of time.
- Computer: The computer should be at eye-level and an arms-length away. The keyboard is best positioned 4-6 inches away from you in order to keep with the aforementioned “L-shape.” If using a computer with a mouse, the mouse should be close to you and not demand any compromising position in order to reach for it.
- Break Time: If you sit in a desk all day, it is vital that you get up every once in a while, (anywhere between 30-60 minutes of sitting) and walk around. Chiropractors suggest stretching during these breaks in order to get blood moving and to wake up muscles not used when sitting such as the glutes. Perform a few neck and shoulder rolls and check your posture before returning to your desk.
Unfortunately, neck and back discomfort may persist. Look into visiting a chiropractor who can perform a chiropractic adjustment and realign the spine, and offer helpful tips and advice specific to your condition and situation. Chiropractic focuses on the well-being of the whole body: chiropractors often recommend dietary modification and exercises that can promote rehabilitation in addition to an adjustment.