If you experience chronic pain in your back, the culprit might be your job. While it’s true that manual labor can be quite taxing on someone’s body, it’s also true that desk jobs can take a toll on your body. Here’s information about why your job could be hurting you and what you can do about it.
Sitting for too long is not healthy.
Somewhat contrary to common belief, sitting can actually place extra stress on your back muscles and discs. Because your back muscles are fixed in place and often hunched over while you sit at the computer, your muscles can become stressed and worn down. Making the situation worse is that the muscles aren’t getting any exercise while you’re stuck in a chair several hours a day. Weak muscles and discs that are under a lot of pressure can unfortunately cause a lot of discomfort. With so many people sitting at desks for 8 hours a day, it’s no wonder that back pain is the second leading reason why people visit their doctors.
Take frequent breaks.
To combat the stress of sitting, stand up every twenty to thirty minutes to give your muscles and discs a break. You can stand up and stretch, down to your toes and up above your head, or you can take a one or two-minute walk around the office. Even better would be taking a walk outside, if it’s possible, as this would give you a natural burst of energy as you feel the wind and sun on your face.
Adjust your workspace.
Part of why sitting is so bad is because people hunch over computers to read messages and type text. If you do have to sit at a computer, make sure you sit the right way, as your posture could make a huge difference in reducing back pain. Either elevate your chair or lower your desk so that your desk is slightly below your elbows. Keeping your elbows at 90 degrees while working is the optimal position, as is keeping your wrists in a straight line while typing. Finally, make sure the top of your screen is level with your eye so that your neck remains comfortable. These measures will help you maintain the proper posture, which will allow your back to stay strong and healthy.
If you experience severe pain, consult a professional.
Making these adjustments can certainly lessen and prevent back pain, but they won’t completely eliminate pain in people with severe ailments. If you experience severe pain and have been having persistent problems, it’s best to visit a physiotherapist to learn how to strengthen certain types of muscles in your back. Only an expert diagnosis can help figure out the best course of treatment for your back. A therapist can monitor your progress, adjust your routine as you improve your strength and mobility, and help you chart a course for a future free of back pain.