People tend to associate muscular pain or associated injury with exercise or a particularly strenuous job. Those who are engaged in manual occupations may not be too surprised if, from time to time, they need to seek help with a strain or injury and will need input from a chiropractor to help them get back on track. Yet people who enjoy a largely sedentary occupation may also be at risk — especially when it comes to lower back pain. If you're an office worker and tend to spend a lot of time sitting in one position, what can you do to avoid this type of risk?
More often than not, back issues can be traced to bad posture and positioning. You may have a comfortable and well-designed office chair, but you can still put a lot of pressure through your shoulders onto your lower back, leading to issues with muscles and discs. This type of aggravation may not be evident at the outset but will gradually increase as the weeks and months go by. Before you know it, the pain will have advanced to such a degree that you will need to call in the help of a chiropractor.
Have a good look at your work position, as this will help you to maintain posture as efficiently as possible while you're sitting down.
- If you're unhappy with your current chair then you may need to look for a specially designed ergonomic alternative, but once you're properly seated then you need to adjust your position in relation to your workplace.
- Most people have a computer in front of them in this situation and you need to place the monitor in such a position that the eyes are level with the centre of the screen. You may not notice it, but you may be tilting your head for long periods of time and this can put pressure on your shoulders, spine and back.
- Ensure that your arms and hands are situated correctly. Your elbows should set a 90° angle to the rest of your body when your hands are placed on the keyboard.
- Make sure that your feet are resting comfortably on the floor without any pressure. You may need to get a footrest if you cannot adjust your chair any more than you already have.
- Always sit upright with your back pressed gently against the seat back. You should try and maintain a slight arch in your lower back if you can.
In the Meantime
As you work to rectify your seating position and general posture, you also need to get some help with your existing back issues. This is a job for your local chiropractor, so you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible.