If you’re like half the population, your job may require you to be seated at a desk for extended periods of time. Whether it’s dull and achy or sharp and stabbing, back pain can make it difficult to concentrate at your office job and enjoy life at home. Unfortunately, days spent primarily sedentary are putting more and more people at risk of chronic back pain, musculoskeletal disorders, and injuries, all of which can negatively impact long-term health.
Back Pain at the Office
Many factors may contribute to your neck and back pain from your office job, including:
It’s easier than ever to find yourself slouching over your phone or laptop while sitting in a chair or on the couch. Being locked on a screen for prolonged periods can take a toll on your body, especially your spine. Sitting in a slouched or hunched position can put strain on the spinal discs, the fluid-filled cushions that protect the vertebrae from rubbing together, making them susceptible to injury.
How to fix it: Practice proper posture
Slouching forward and slumping back can put a lot of strain on the muscles, ligaments, discs, and other spinal components. To minimize the amount of stress placed on your back and neck, start practicing good posture by standing and sitting up straight. Being aware of your own posture will help you consciously correct yourself and gradually replace your old posture.
Poor workstation setup
If you are experiencing headaches, lower back pain, and shoulder and/or wrist pain, your workstation setup may be the issue. You may experience neck strain if your computer monitor isn’t at eye level. Having an uncomfortable chair may also be contributing to your pain.
How to fix it: Adjust your workspace
There are countless ergonomic desks and chairs for office workers to take advantage of. Whatever desk you decide to utilize, you will need to set it to a height that will be most comfortable for long periods of time. Once the optimal height of your desk is determined, you will then need to find appropriate seating. Ergonomic chairs are a great choice because they have an adjustable seat height, seat depth, and lumbar support.
Lack of movement
Prolonged inactivity, such as sitting at your desk for hours at a time, can increase back pain as the spine becomes stiff, weak, and de-conditioned. Unfortunately, as the pain increases, many individuals reduce their activity and exercise levels, resulting in even more back pain.
How to fix it: Stay active
One of the most effective ways to improve your posture and minimize the negative effects of sitting all day is to get up and move around. This can be as simple as walking around the office, grabbing coffee from a nearby cafe, or even stretching near your desk.
While stretching and moving around will help relieve body aches and pains that develop from your office job, work-related back pain can also be caused by stress. Tight deadlines, performance reviews and challenges throughout the day can cause a lot of stress to build up. Try combining breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques with your stretches to keep your mind and body at ease.
At Rejuvinix, our doctors specialize in non-surgical therapies for joint and back pain. If you’re experiencing chronic pain, schedule your no-cost consultation to learn more about our minimally-invasive treatments.