Guide to Eliminating Back and Neck Pain at Work
More and more people today suffer from chronic neck and back pain, and most experts believe it’s due to our more sedentary lifestyles and the way our jobs have changed. In the past, a day at work frequently involved a lot more moving and physical activity. Now, the majority of Americans spend their workday at a desk in front of a computer screen. This drastic change in the average person’s day can cause persistent neck and back pain, especially if your posture and your workspace aren’t conducive to a healthy spine. Here’s what you can do to prevent neck and back pain at work and feel healthier throughout the day.
Pay Attention to Posture
As any good orthopedic physician or physiatrist will tell you, posture is one of the most important things when it comes to spinal health. Unfortunately, workdays spent in front of a screen frequently lead to slumped shoulders, curved spines, and forward-thrusting necks. These bad posture habits can worsen as you become more fatigued. There are various causes that may lead to pain in your neck and back (video).
Do yourself—and your spine—a favor and focus on maintaining good posture throughout your day. Sit with your feet flat on the floor, and your back straight against the back of your chair. Keep your head and neck properly aligned with your spine as well. While it may feel that this takes more energy and effort at first, in the long run, it will help you to feel healthier and more energized on a daily basis, as you’ll be free of many of the aches and pains you currently experience.
Adjust Your Workspace
This goes hand in hand with maintaining good posture. If your chair is too low or too high, or if your keyboard and monitor are not in the proper positions, you’re forced to adjust your posture in order to utilize your equipment.
Raise your monitor so that it’s at eye level when you look straight ahead; this will prevent you from constantly angling your neck downwards to look at it. Place your keyboard so that your arms bend at a 90-degree angle at your sides. Adjust your chair so your feet can rest flat on the ground; you may also want to add a back support or cushion to help place you in the proper position.
Get Up Frequently
When you’re in the middle of a big project, it can be easy to forget about getting up and moving around. But long hours of sitting in the same position is not good for your spinal health. Try to stand up every hour. Go to the restroom, get a drink of water, or simply take a lap around the office to help relieve pressure on your hips and lower spine. You may even want to consider investing in an adjustable or standing desk so that you can change your working position throughout the day.
Stretch Every Day
Caring for your spine doesn’t just have to happen at work; you need to make sure to care for it when you get home as well. You should spend some time doing simple spinal stretches at the end of every day. This relieves any tension in your back and can also help to keep your vertebrae aligned.
If you suffer from chronic back and neck pain despite your best efforts to care for your spine, speak to an orthopedic specialist or physiatrist in Atlanta. The experts at Piedmont Orthopedics | OrthoAtlanta can help you identify the potential causes of your pain and provide recommended treatment options so that you can live a healthier, more pain-free life. Give us a call today.