One would think that a specific injury would require an actual injury of sorts to take place. Pain that comes on slowly and progressively worsens overtime can be frustrating. Pain “for no reason” isn’t uncommon, particularly for those hunched over a keyboard for a majority of their day.
Even those who have skirted by without back pain should heed the advice below. It’s almost as certain as the sun rise, if you sit all day, every day, you’re likely going to experience back pain at one point or another.
“I don’t know what I did. I just woke up one morning in pain.” We hear this quite often as physical therapists. In an ideal world our work space would allow for altering positions, which would change how you load your lower body, back, neck, and shoulders. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.
For most, it is what it is. Few are lucky enough to score a standing work station while others cope by frequently changing positions or “getting up and moving around.”
Regardless of your work set up, there are many things that are still within your control. We use this every day with our patients, attempting to swap your bad habits for good ones.
Although you may not have control over your set up at work, you certainly have some say at home. If you’re sitting 40 hours a week (which equates to 41,600 hours of sitting in a 20 year career), why sit when you have a choice?
“Leisure sitting” is a term I use to describe optional sitting that’s common in front of the TV, at a child’s sporting event, or while reading. Here are two safer alternatives to sitting:
• Standing: Standing and walking place far less compression to the discs in your low back when compared to sitting. While watching your child’s soccer game try to avoid sitting. Stand and watch.
• Lay on Your Stomach: Tummy time is not just for infants. Spending time on your stomach as an adult can help decompress the discs in your low back. Think of lying on your stomach as the opposite of sitting. Get on the ground with a pillow under your chest to read, watch TV, and work on your laptop.
These two alternative positions will surely help you preserve your back, particularly for those who sit all day.
This is the tip of the low back pain prevention iceberg.