You’ve probably heard it said that “sitting is the new smoking,” which is a dramatic way for health officials to warn an increasingly sedentary population that stressful office jobs and an ever-growing dependence on technology can, over time, be detrimental to a person’s physical well-being.
If you sit for prolonged periods every day and experience unexplained back pain, you’re not alone. Our team of Highland, IN, neurologists treats many patients dealing with back pain, and we know how all the time spent in uncomfortable chairs and crunched up on couches can contribute.
Sitting tight is not necessarily sitting right
In addition to holding us in place and preventing movement, most chairs are not designed to make us sit properly or to provide the right support. Our back area, spanning from the lower back all the way up through the neck, is a complicated system of bones, muscles, and nerves that all feed off each other. Stress in one area will contribute to stress in another. Sitting for long periods of time definitely causes stress.
If it’s not an option to utilize a standing desk or a customized ergonomic chair, our advice is to be mindful of the way you’re sitting.
Many people round their backs and hunch over their keyboard, making the body curve in a ‘C’ shape. This can cause the disks in the spine, whose job it is to absorb shocks, to break down. If you’ve ever suffered from a bulging or ruptured disk, you know how painful that can be. You want to keep your disks in good shape for as long as possible.
When you sit down, make sure your bottom is touching the back of your chair, your pelvis is lifted, and your lower back is slightly arched. Resist the urge to curve back into that ‘C’! If you find that yourself slipping, reset.
A stronger core = a happy back
It’s no secret that exercise is essential to any healthy, pain-free lifestyle, but just as it’s important how you sit, it’s important how you exercise. A big contributor to back pain is a weak core, an area of the body that includes not just your abdominal muscles but your entire pelvis, your lower back, and hips.
Strong core muscles help to stabilize the body in all activities, but also while you’re sitting down. Check out this brief video for a few core-strengthening suggestions.
Call Midwest Neurology Associates!
If stubborn back pain is cutting down on your quality of life, get out of that seat and take a walk…with your phone, while you call our neurologist office near Lake County, IN. We can discuss any of your pain management questions and help you set up a visit with our specialists today.