Have you ever wondered why your neck and back muscles are always tight? Why is it that your lower back aches at the end of the day? There are a number of factors that contribute to this. Bad posture, not exercising enough and bad nutritional choices are only a few. In this 3 part series, we’re going to talk about the biggest contributing factors to neck and back tightness.
We’ve talked about it before, how you sit, stand and move through space can dictate the function of your muscles. Sitting at a desk for hours at a time is not ideal and sitting slouched over is even worse. Putting your spine in a compromised position can cause discomfort to your lower back and put tension on your spine.
In the workplace (or if you work from home).
Our job may dictate the amount of time we spend sitting. So here are a couple of things you can do to help ease that tension.
- Invest in an ergonomic chair. If your boss won’t spring for it or you work at home, purchase one yourself. Your health is important. If an ergonomic chair isn’t in your budget, grab a lumbar support. You can find them on Amazon for as low as $20. These are great because they are easily transferable to your office, home and car.
- Get up and move. Set a timer. Every 20 minutes you should get up and stretch out. Go grab a drink of water or head to the supply closet, whatever you do just move every 20 minutes or so. This will help minimize that stress on your back from sitting and give you a little boost to your metabolism. It will also give you a small jolt of energy. So if you’re feeling sluggish it’s a great way to wake yourself up.
- Adjust your monitor. The position of your monitor can impact the health of your neck and back. If you spend the majority of the day staring down at your screen, you’re going to develop some severe neck aches and encourage slouching which leads to pain in your back. Raise your monitor so that you’re looking at it straight on. If you use a laptop, invest in a Bluetooth keyboard. There is a whole slew of them for under $20 on Amazon. This will allow you to raise your laptop screen to the appropriate position while allowing you to keep your shoulders relaxed and hands in a good typing position.
- Keep your shoulders back. When you sit in your office/desk chair, practice keeping your shoulders back. This will prohibit you from slouching and help you develop some nice back muscles.
- If you have to lift something, lift with your legs. We have all heard it. Lift with your legs, not your back. Comparatively, your legs are infinitely stronger than your back will ever be, so practice good lifting techniques. When lifting, keep your core engaged and back straight. Also, don’t try to be a hero. Have a friend help you lift.
At Home and everywhere else.
All of the above applies at home or anytime you are sitting for long periods of time. You want to make sure that you are positioning yourself so that you won’t have to deal with neck and back aches in the future. Provide support to your lower back while sitting, remember to always lift with your legs and try to keep your head in neutral position. Keeping these things in mind as you go through your day-to-day, as well as regular visits to your chiropractor, will help to minimize neck and back aches.
Have a healthy day!