Did you know that just the act of sitting can increase pressure on your spine up to 40%? Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints that chiropractors hear and address and one that we hear from the majority of our patients in Rochester, New York. Lower back pain from sitting seems inescapable in our tech-driven world. There are however plenty of ways to combat it. Common sense goes a long way in improving your situation and fortunately, there are a lot of tools that will improve your life and your spinal health.
The first thing you can do is practically free. Keep a bottle of water at your desk. Drink a lot and drink often. The next comment I usually hear is, “I’m going to be in the rest room, constantly!”.
My response is, “Yes you will, at first”. Remember, by doing this you’re establishing a new habit. New habits take time and patience. It’s true that “nature’s call” will force you to get up from your desk regularly use the rest room. It will also ensure that you stay hydrated. This is something that’s just as important during winter months in Rochester as the summer months (when the need to “stay hydrated” is more obvious). In addition, making you get up and take a small walk around the building every hour (even if its just to the rest room) is a fantastic way to make sure you prevent lower back pain caused by sitting for too long.
Exercise is also a valuable tool to combat lower back pain. Strengthening your core help keep your body more pliable and resistant to injury. Doing core exercises regularly will go a long way in strengthening your body.
If you really want to avoid lower back pain from sitting, the obvious answer is not to sit. Does that mean I think standing desks are the perfect cure? No. Standing desks come with their own challenges. The key to avoiding lower back pain is varying your position frequently. If you have a standing desk, get a thick mat to stand on and go back and forth between sitting and standing frequently throughout the day. Remember that changing positions frequently is your friend when avoiding this kind of pain.
One of the best things you can do to relieve the damage that comes to your lower back from sitting is being adjusted by a chiropractor, regularly. A weekly adjustment is the best insurance policy you can buy to combat the long-term effects of sitting. It will help your nervous system working properly so your muscles operate in the patterns they’re meant to. It will also help knock the “fuzz” out that builds within your fascia, which can cause unhealthy muscular patterns. In time, these unhealthy patterns can develop into movements and habits that not only compensate for pain but may even cause it.
If you’d like to learn more about developing healthy patterns in your work day, even thought it requires working at a computer station, schedule an appointment with my Rochester, NY clinic for a consultation at 585-321-3200.