If you’re like most of us, no matter how old you are you can still hear your mother saying “Sit up straight and stop slouching”! But is that good advice? Does mother know best when it comes to combating back pain?
Consider this – back pain is the most common cause of work-related disability in the United States. And according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes, back pain is one of the leading contributors to absenteeism on the job. Between healthcare visits, medication expenses and lost revenue from decreased production and lost wages, complaints of back pain cost millions – if not billions of dollars every year!
So if more people listened to their mother and stopped slouching, would back pain complaints be on the downslide? The treatment of the back pain should be done through the Trusted Spine Surgery Specialist. The techniques of the surgeons will be safe for repairing the damaged nerves of the back.
According to the experts, Moms may never be wrong but they are not always right!
Recent studies have shown that spinal disc movement is most pronounced at a 90 degree angle – the same angle Mom is talking about when she says ‘sit up straight’. This movement, occurring from the strain of weight bearing on the spine, can cause the internal disc material to misalign. Thus the perfect set-up for back pain to rear its ugly head.
But leaning too far forward and slumping over increases the stress and pressure on the spine as well (so you see, Mom wasn’t totally wrong after all!).
So what’s a person to do? After all, millions of us spend an exorbitant amount of time sitting in front of a computer screen all day.
The answer is as simple as it is complicated. Just relax.
Reclining back to a 135 degree angle can combat most stress-related back pain. This was proven to be the best biomechanical sitting position where spinal disc movement is least pronounced.
Sounds great in theory, but how you supposed to get your work done while “relaxing”? The answer depends on you.
First you need a good chair with features such as a lumbar or low back support, the ability for height adjustment and tilt control. Then you need to make adjustments for comfort.
Some people raise the chair height to open up the angle between the thighs and back. But care must be taken to assure your feet can still remain comfortably on the floor. A chair that’s too high can cause pressure on the back of the thighs thus leasing to poor circulation.
Others push the chair closer to the desk and use the tilt feature to open the angle. The trick here is to make sure your head is leaning against the back of the chair. If not you might be tempted to “slump” into the computer screen which will not only increase the pressure on your back, but on your neck, shoulders and diaphragm (the breathing muscles located under your ribcage) as well.
But finding an optimal seated position doesn’t mean your work is done. We are built for movement, so frequent position changes are necessary to further fight the onset of stress-related back pain. Shift weight often or take a few laps around the desk to stretch those strained muscles.
Poor positioning can lead to much more than just a nagging ache in your back. It can cause chronic pain issues, deformity and overall poor health. It can decrease your mental clarity and lead to decreased production on the job.
So next time your boss walks by and asks if you’re slouching on the job, smile and say “I’m combating back pain”!