Posture and Back Pain: 5 Tips for Surviving Desk Culture

Chris LoRang Your Best Life

Posture and Pain

If you’re like many people, you may spend hours every day sitting at a desk – or sitting in a car, or on a couch, or at a kitchen table. And as we sit – even though it looks like we’re doing very little – through our inactivity and posture, we can actually be causing ourselves harm.

Consequences of sitting for long periods of time can include headaches, neck pain, back pain, and rounded shoulders. Over time, one could even develop forward head posture, a condition in which the head drifts from atop the neck to in front of the body like a lamppost over a street, which can cause further pain.

All of these dysfunctions can lead to a predictable set of imbalances in which some muscles become too tight and others become inhibited, neurologically weak and unstable.

Life should be about productivity, not pain. The good news is you can do something about it:

1. Move often – Try to get up at least once an hour.

2. Stretch – Especially if you are seated and looking at a computer or TV, stretch by standing up and placing your hands on your lower back. Then lean backwards.

3. Drink water – Besides keeping you hydrated, if you drink water often enough, you will naturally get up from your desk to use the restroom.

4. Set alarms – Use your computer or cell phone to set alarms to remind you to take a break from sitting. Take a stroll, take a stretch, visit your coworker.

5. Consult a specialist – Chiropractors, physical therapists and other functional-minded practitioners can help assess your joint and muscle function or dysfunction to see if any treatment should be performed. She or he could also prescribe therapeutic exercises you could do throughout the day to work in a pain-free way.

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