We have been providing treatment for back pain in downtown San Francisco for over 23 years.
One of the more common problems patients present with at our chiropractic clinics is back pain from sitting long periods in front of a computer. Some of our patients spend 10-12 hours per day there doing repetitive movements. This is very hard on the back, neck and upper extremities and can often lead to chronic pain and disability.
So what is the best way to prevent back pain from sitting at the computer?
Well, first and foremost you want to think “healthy lifestyle”. That’s right…the same lifestyle choices that keep you strong and healthy will also increase your resistance to injury at your workstation. Here is a partial list of lifestyle choices that matter:
- Get plenty of sleep. When you are tired and run down you are unable to perform at your best and your immune system is also compromised which predisposes you to sickness and injury.
- Drink plenty of water. The body is 70% water and constantly needs to be replenished. Water also helps keeps the spinal discs hydrated and healthy.
- Exercise frequently. Exercise keeps the spine, muscles and joints flexible and healthy which reduces your chances of repetitive stress injuries from sitting long periods.
- Consume plant foods. That’s right, plant foods are “anti-inflammatory”. The typical American diet is pro-inflammatory and is a primary contributor to back pain.
- Use a cervical pillow when you sleep as this will help to maintain proper spinal alignment.
In addition, there are some very specific things you can do at work to prevent back pain:
- Take frequent Micro-breaks. Every 15-30 minutes or so get up and walk around for 1-2 minutes. This is a good time to stretch and drink some water.
- Stretch throughout the day. Simply go to YouTube and search for stretches you can do at your desk. Then do them. Your chiropractor can also provide you with some handouts. This will go a long way helping to prevent and reduce back and neck pain.
- Proper ergonomic set-up. Make sure your workstation is set-up properly. A few tweaks here and there can reduce stress on your body that can build-up and lead to injury and back pain.
- Deep breathing exercises and help relax muscles, clear the mind, and reduce stress.
There you go. You really can work long hours at the computer and live a healthy “back pain free” lifestyle. It just takes a little attention and focus. It’s well worth the effort.
In the event you do develop back pain you should visit your chiropractor. Some people choose to do this on a regular basis for prevention and maintenance. Others just come in whenever they feel they need a tune-up. Chiropractic is quick, painless, affordable, and effective.
To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors call 415-392-2225.