It isn’t uncommon for people to experience back pain after a long day on the job. While you might expect those aches and pains from physically demanding labor, the truth is that your average office worker has their share of back problems. Let’s look at why office workers have back problems.
Why Office Workers Have Back Problems
Working in an office frequently reinforces a sedentary lifestyle, promotes poor posture, and impedes circulation. This proves recipe for inactivity and the development of long-term spinal issues that should end up addressed more frequently.
To better understand why the average office worker struggles with frequent back pain and how the issue might be resolved, let’s have a look at common causes of back pain at your average 9 to 5 desk job.
Common Causes of Back Pain in the Office
Every person is different, and there could be numerous factors responsible for your individual back pain. However, there are a few common causes that do stick out for people who work full-time office jobs. These are some of those potential causes.
When you’re working at a desk for the vast majority of the day, it can feel nearly impossible to work in enough physical activity. You’re at the office to work, and you want to stay focused on the tasks at hand, so you end up sitting in the same position for hours on end.
The lack of activity combined with the stationary position can impair circulation and promote other bad habits that negatively affect spinal health. In order to break this cycle, try getting up from your desk at regular intervals or purposely changing the position you work in.
Very few people adopt the correct posture when they are working at a desk. Fortunately, it can be a relatively easy fix with a little bit of practice.
When you’re working at a desk your feet should be firmly planted on the floor with your knees at a 90 degree angle. Your back and neck should be straight. Your elbows should also be at a 90-degree angle with straight wrists.
To support this posture, it is important that your chair and desk are set at an appropriate height for you. Additionally, your monitor should be at eye level, and your wrists should have proper support for the keyboard and mouse.
If you’re going to be sitting in the same chair nine hours a day every day, then it needs to provide adequate back support. Without it, maintaining the proper posture is even more difficult.
While you may not be able to replace your office chair on your own, you can purchase support pads for your seat and lower back to provide improved support while you’re working in the office.
In addition to making sure your chair provides support, you should also wear supportive shoes and comfortably fitted clothing to give yourself the best possible defense against back pain while working a desk job.
Addressing Back Pain Outside of Work
Outside of work, you should maintain a semi-active lifestyle, eat well, and keep a relatively healthy weight to help offset the risk of back pain. If you are already dealing with serious, consistent back pain as a result of your 9 to 5, then it may be time to discuss your options with your spine surgeon in Los Angeles.
Based on a physical examination and a description of your symptoms, your spine surgeon can start by making recommendations for stretches and physical therapy that will target your specific problem areas.
If these treatments don’t work, then your spinal surgeon may suggest a spinal decompression in Los Angeles as well as some imaging to check for more serious spinal concerns.