When we meet with a new patient for the first time and they describe their symptoms or concerns to us, they often leave out what they do for a living unless there was an injury specific to their work place. It’s important to know what types of daily physical and repetitive stresses are on the body so we can come up with a game plan to combat those stresses and allow your body to heal, function better, and stay healthy.
It’s usually very obvious to us when someone sits at a desk or computer for work, as their body displays many similar characteristics that we see over and over again in the office. For example, tight muscles in the upper back and neck from poor posture at the desk, eye or neck fatigue from lack of taking breaks from the computer screen, headaches or migraines, low back pain and stiffness from too few breaks or lack of lumbar support in the desk chair, and sometimes even radiating symptoms into the shoulders, arms and hands.
The important thing to realize is that these symptoms are not normal! Your body is telling you that there’s something wrong, and something needs to change! Here are a few recommendations that will make your body feel better and keep your spine happier for years to come:
1) Proper office ergonomics for your work space are essential to a healthy spine and body. There are many resources online that can give you simple steps to take to arrange your workspace in a way that’s appropriate for you! Simply google “office ergonomics” for a variety of examples, or follow this link to a great resource
2) Take a 3-5 minute break every hour you’re at work! Get a glass of water, make some photo copies, use the rest room, deliver a message to a coworker instead of emailing them, do a few stretches to wake up your tired muscles! Allow your body a chance throughout the day to reset.
3) Stay hydrated! Keeping your body properly hydrated will significantly reduce a lot of muscle tension and soreness, as it aids in so many essential functions the body makes throughout the day, including flushing out toxins. Set a goal to drink 1/2 of your body weight in OUNCES of water (ie: If you weigh 150 lbs, you should drink 75 OUNCES of water per day). Buy a BPA-free water cup to keep on your desk to track your intake! And by the way, coffee doesn’t count because it’s made from water! 🙂
4) Get your spine checked by a chiropractor regularly. The physical, emotional & chemical stresses we put on our body throughout our life can create spinal misalignments, make us feel off balance and diminish our health. Similar to maintaining your car’s tire alignment, or your regular dental hygiene, your spine needs to be well taken care of to keep your nervous system healthy and free from interferences. Regular chiropractic care can help you get well and stay well, naturally!