Your office job can be more dangerous than you thought. According to the American Chiropractic Association, 50 percent of Americans will experience back pain each year. It is the most common cause for sick days from work. If you do work that requires a lot of sitting, learn how you can avoid this painful side effect of a desk job.
A Healthy Back Supports You
Your spinal column is flexible because it is composed of rigid bones, the vertebrae, alternating with cushioning pads, the intervertebral discs. The spinal cord runs through the center of your spine, with bundles of nerves branching off of it to other parts of the body. Muscles surround the spine and run along the side of it. When everything is working together correctly, you can move with no pain.
Pain Happens when the System Breaks Down
If something happens to one of the cushioning discs, such as a small tear or rupture, pressure is placed on the nerve branches. This triggers pain which can radiate down the arms or legs. Any movement of that area becomes painful. This can happen by a sudden twisting movement, lifting a heavy object while bending the back, or simply sitting with bad posture over time. There are a number of ways you can hurt your back while at work.
Most Chairs Are Not Healthy
Office chairs are often not designed to support your back well. Many even promote bad posture. To be effective at supporting your back, it needs to have a contour that pushes your lower back forward as you sit. This forces you to sit upright instead of slumped back into the chair. There are back supports available that you can use in your chair to get the same effect.
Other Office Risks to Your Back
Good body posture is important in an office because you don't know when a movement could injure your back. Twisting around in your chair quickly to reach for something can put pressure on the back, and a weakened disc could rupture just from that motion. Lifting a heavy box of files by bending with your back and not your legs is another common cause of back pain. This also puts a lot of stress on a small portion of the back instead of spreading it out over a larger area.
Treatment to Strengthen the Back
A trip to a chiropractic office will resolve many back pain issues. There the doctor will determine where the injury is located and relax the muscles around that part of the spine. An injured disc will begin to heal when this pressure is removed.
With the pain gone and your disc healing, the chiropractor will order physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that support your back. This helps prevent future occurrences of the problem. To be protected from back pain at work, continue your back exercises at home once the physical therapy sessions have completed.
In spite of the dangers to your back at work, you can prevent back pain by making sure you have adequate support in your chair, and watching how you move. Pay attention to good posture and body movements and your job no longer has to be a pain in the back. For more information, contact a clinic like Brandywine Total Health Care.