Monday, April 12, 2010

Got Back Pain?

Did you know that working in an office all day might actually be causing your back pain? It's true! When you sit in one position all day and don't get up to walk around much, you may be contributing to your low back pain.

Human bodies weren't made to stay in one position for long periods of time. Sitting in an office chair, staring at a computer screen for 8 hours a day isn't good. Your quads and lower torso muscles become tight and over-shortened while glutes and hamstrings become overstretched, not to mention that sitting for long periods of time decreases blood flow. As a result, pain can manifest in the low back, hips and thighs which can be exacerbated if you don't exercise regularly and use a chair with inadequate padding and lumbar support.

What can you do? Well, obviously, the first step is to start exercising regularly. Try taking short 5-10 minute breaks throughout the day with short walks around the building or avoid the elevator by going up and down stairs instead. Get up and stretch at least a few times a day. Do some side stretches, bend over and touch your toes, put your hands on your hips while bending backwards, and do some twisting at the waist. This will help loosen up those tight muscles and keep you more limber. Also, make sure to pay attention to your posture. As your mother told you, slouching is bad. But what she didn't know is that even sitting too straight can tax your back muscles and cause pain.

If you are also experiencing neck pain that frequently turns into tension headaches, it's possible this is caused by your computer monitor being set at the wrong height. Try raising or lowering your monitor to see what effect it has on you. You shouldn't have to bend your neck up or down to look at it--it should be right at your eye level.

Of course, the best thing you can do is get a massage on a regular basis. Massage therapy can be extremely helpful in getting rid of that chronic neck and low back pain. I can help! Make an appointment with me and I will work with you to define your pain issues and decrease your pain. For those of you in Ann Arbor massage may be the answer you're looking for. Find out more about how I can help you by visiting my site:

Read about other causes for back pain:

Coming soon: Do you have Carpel Tunnel Syndrome or something else?

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