If you work a desk job, you probably spend more time at your desk than you do at anything else in your life. Moreover, chances are if you work at a desk for the majority of your day, you have back pain. Desk-related back pain is fairly common, but it is easier to fix than most people think.
If you remain hunched over your desk, of course you are going to experience pain. Most likely, your shoulders are slouched, your back is rounded, and you are looking down at your computer monitor. However, if you follow these five easy fixes you should ease your desk-related back pain.
Set Your Workspace Up to Ease Your Back:
Most likely your monitor is lower than your eyes. This can leave your head drooping over the desk and you bending your back to lower your level. Conversely, your chair may be too low and your desk to high. The latter makes you over extended to reach your workspace.
Make sure your monitor is at eye level:
By simply lifting your monitor to eye level, you are reducing the need to hunch over your desk. Which brings us to our next tip:
Keep your head up:
Focus on aligning your head and neck right above your shoulders; avoid straining forward.
Move your mouse closer to your body:
You don’t want to overextend your arm to reach your mouse. This can cause unnecessary stress on your shoulders and arms.
To compensate for your shoulder pain, you will most likely slouch to the side of your pain. While it may temporarily ease your shoulder issues, it will also increase stress on your back.
Adjust your chair:
For some reason or another, most people do not change the height of their chair. Most chairs are going to be adjustable and finding the perfect level can really relieve a lot of tension in your body.
You’ll want to sit in a chair at a height where your shoulders are relaxed and pulled back, you are sitting tall, and your forearms are resting on the desk parallel to the ground. In the ideal position you won’t shrug your shoulders or reach up to your keyboard.
One of the easiest ways to tell if your chair is at the wrong level is to ask yourself, are my shoulders shrugged up, is my back tense, and my neck bothering me? If you answer yes to any of these, chances are your chair needs to be adjusted. You can also use this cool little online tool that will tell you the optimal level for chair, monitor, etc. based on your height.
It can be tedious to stop what you are doing and stretching in the middle of the work day, but your back will thank you for it. Simply set a reminder to get up and stretch once every hour or so.
Stretching doesn’t necessarily need to mean pulling off a yoga pose in the middle of the office. Instead, take a walk to the water cooler, use the bathroom, etc. You will find that you can avoid desk-related back pain by simply keeping loose throughout the day.
If nothing else is working for you, seek a medical professional’s opinion. At Metropolitan Pain Consultants, we offer two forms of regenerative medicine: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and bone marrow concentrate (BMC). These nonsurgical treatments offer an easy and relatively quick solution to healing your desk-related pain.