There’s a good chance that you associate pain in your spine with lifting heavy items or landing badly while playing sports. For many people, however spine problems start when they’re sitting down. Your office chair and computer could send you to the orthopedic doctor with back, neck, shoulder, and elbow pain that originates in the spine. Here is how sitting hurts your spine and what you can do about it:
The main reason that sitting leads to spine problems is because of poor posture. There are a number of different ways people sit that put undue pressure on their spine. Some people hunch over their keyboards to type, while others lean in closely to their computer screens or slump in their chairs all day. Posture can also be affected by chairs that are too high or too low. All of these positions cause the spine to compress, which can lead to inflamed, bulging discs. These discs can start pressing on nerves, which in turn cause pain up and down your back, or in your neck, shoulders, arms, or legs. Orthopedic surgeons frequently treat cases of pain in other areas of the body that actually originate in the spine.
Setting up your desk to encourage proper sitting will help you avoid this kind of spine aggravation. Make sure you have an ergonomically-balanced chair that has been adjusted to meet your specific needs. Sit with your lower back pressed firmly into the chair and make sure you can slide your fingers under your thighs easily. If not, add a foot rest to prop your legs up. Get up every 30 minutes for a quick stretch or walk around the office to keep your body loose.
Could your spine be the culprit behind your chronic pain? Let Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine help you get to the root of the problem. Our orthopedic doctors and surgeons also treat knee, shoulder, and wrist injuries. Make an appointment with our NYC orthopedic surgeon by calling (866) 650-8063.