When we work in an office, we don’t get too many chances to move around and stretch our legs since our daily tasks demand us to sit down and stare at our computer screens all day, resulting in constant back pains. The discomfort may feel harmless at first, but simple back pain has possibilities of turning into something more serious, such as a disc problem.
In this scenario, you may need to be treated by an experienced chiropractor from Salt Lake City or any other location.
Causes of Back Pain
Back pain has numerous possible causes, including a bad posture when sitting down. Slouching or hunching over on your seat can strain the discs, which are fluid-filled cushions that prevent the bones in our spine from rubbing together.
Existing medical conditions can worsen back pain when seated. When you experience a dull aching sensation on your back to something that feels like an electric shock, you could have Sciatica, a pain in the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back down to the back of your legs. A bone spur in the spine can cause this condition.
Pain and numbness in the lower back can be a result of a herniated disc, a condition that puts pressure on the disc and deforms it. Falls, bad posture when lifting heavy objects, repetitive motions, and old age can cause a herniated disc. A similar but more severe condition is a tear in the disc called degenerative disc disease. Pain in the lower back and limbs that gets worse when seated are the symptoms and effects of this condition.
Overstretching or excessively twisting your back can cause muscle or lumbar strain. It is also a common problem among people who sit all day in a bad posture. The strain can stiffen your back muscles and the pain may extend down to the buttocks.
Spinal stenosis is also a possible cause, which you can get from an injury, arthritis, infection, or a tumor. It is a condition wherein the tube in the spinal cord isn’t wide enough, squeezing the cord in turn and inducing pain, weakness, and numbness.
Back Pain Relief
If you’re experiencing minor back pains from sitting down all day, take note of the following tips which are all doable even while you’re working.
- Correct your posture. Align your head and neck above your shoulders; keep your torso about an arm’s length away from your screen; plant your feet flat on the floor, positioning your knees at 90 degrees above your ankles; keep the screen 2-3 inches above your eye level. Your mouse should also be placed right next to your keyboard to avoid overstretching or over twisting your shoulders.
- Use the right chair. A good ergonomic chair is important in providing optimal support to the back and neck. If your office doesn’t have one, raise the concern to the department handling office equipment.
- Breathe correctly. Pull your stomach in as you draw in a breath to engage your core muscles and relieve any pain.
- Take breaks. Get up at least once every hour and do some shoulder rolls to relieve pressure on the discs. Make a quick trip to the bathroom as well to exercise your legs. This also helps in easing stress.
- Avoid squinting and straining. This includes leaning forward when trying to see something more clearly on your screen. Avoid this habit to prevent shoulder pain.
- Reduce leg crosses. While it can be comfortable from time to time, sitting cross-legged may interrupt blood flow and cause varicose veins. It also keeps our spines from being straight, so avoid this position as much as you can.
- Use the phone properly. Aren’t we all guilty of cradling the phone in between our ear and shoulder? This strains our necks, so let’s get accustomed to not doing this anymore.
If your back pain persists or seems more serious, consult a therapist or a doctor because other health conditions such as a kidney problem can also cause back pain. But in all cases, always remember to practice proper posture and habits when you sit down all day at work.