There are many people with lower back pain that don’t realize that their mid and upper back are probably suffering also. But if you think about it, if you’re getting back pain from sitting too much, you’re probably getting a rounded upper back and your head protrudes a little forward.
This is natural for anyone who is behind a desk or a steering wheel all day. There are some exercises that you can do. Some are discreet and you can do them at your desk. Then others you may need a little more room for.
“They can be especially useful for those aching back pains that come on from sitting for long periods, although they can be useful for sciatica – that is, leg pain, tingling or numbness that originates from the nerves in the back. It is best to be seen by your physiotherapist or physician before commencing [with these exercises] to ensure that they are the best thing for you.”
As with pretty much all exercise, if you experience pain when doing the stretches, stop and get checked out by a physio to ensuring you’re not compounding any major issues.
With the advent of the standing desk, posture pro tips, and even a new study that suggests sitting is the new smoking, there’s a plethora of information that confirms spending hours upon hours in a chair is a big no-no for health reasons (we even touched on a few points ourselves in a Be Well post of yore). But if you’re reading this from behind your desk, you know the dilemma. As a full-time working professional, sitting is quite literally part of the job.
So, what do you do to make sure your desk isn’t negatively affecting your health? To start, we suggest trying the nine exercises below, which can all 100 percent be done at—or around—your desk. Together, they will work the muscles that suffer most during your 8-hour work day.
Make sure you read the whole article as I couldn’t include all the exercises here.
If you’ve been dealing with aches and pain for any time, you may need to look at your overall lifestyle and how you’re eating. Everyday habits of living have a huge impact on how we feel day to day and your health in general.
We’ve all heard it before but, for many, attention is not paid to the little things in life. These are probably some of the same things you hear in the back of your mind (in your mother’s voice no doubt) about how to stay healthy and happy.
Have a look at the following stories and don’t skip the video at the end. Start with one or two things you read or hear and try to work them into your daily routine. It may take a week or so, but, you’ll feel better that you started.
Tips To Stay Healthy Throughout Your Life
George Jedenoff can’t believe he’s 100 years old and if you watch his birthday party, you’ll agree. He marked the big day this month by skiing in the summer snow.
“I couldn’t find a better present on my 100th birthday,” Jedenoff, who has been whooshing down mountains for 57 years, told a crowd of fans gathered on the slopes of the Snowbird ski resort in Utah.
Born in Russia on July 5, 1917, Jedenoff came to the U.S. in 1923 after his family fled the Russian Revolution and settled on the West Coast. He graduated from Stanford University, where he met his wife, “the most important thing in my life,” he said. They married in 1943.
What keeps him going? Here are his four rules for a good, long, healthy life:
Jedenoff and his wife have been married for 74 years. “She is the best thing that ever happened to me in my whole life,” he said.
For the last 30 years, Jedenoff has made it a priority to exercise every single morning.
He uses some “junky equipment” in his home to work out, but it’s not important what kind of equipment you have — the main goal is to work your muscles with resistance training, he said. Jedenoff does exercises for his legs, arms, abs and back. He also gets his heart pumping with the help of a few cardio machines or by jogging on his patio. His daily routine takes about 45 minutes.
Make sure to balance your life and include meaning as well as pleasure, Jedenoff advised.
A Few Very Simple Steps Can Lead To A Healthier Lifestyle
More than ever people are choosing healthier lifestyles, and why wouldn’t they when it’s something we should all be aiming for in order to look, feel and be as good as we can.
And it’s not too difficult to do.
Incorporating simple health-supporting habits into your daily routine will assist you with prevention, so Skin Online pointed out five routines to get you started:
– Put sugar on hold “forever”
Simply put, sugar is as toxic as poison to the body, it undermines all the bodies natural processes and raises the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. Sugar is the number one cause of inflammation in the body and as such should be avoided at all costs. The challenge is finding foods that exclude sugar, mainly because it’s a key ingredient in just about every processed food imaginable.
Healthy lifestyles include whole foods, as in that which grows in the ground, goes bad if not refrigerated, or has a limited shelf life—so, yes, not those foods which are so man-made that they do not perish. Instead of worrying about food labels and all the unpronounceable ingredients on them, rather choose fresh and organic produce. Make your own soups and sauces, so that you can control the ingredients and avoid any packaged foods.
Modern life and office jobs make for a sedentary lifestyle, making exercise a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. If you’re a beginner, why not hit the gym, or even better hit the great outdoors and start by walking at lunchtime or after dinner? At the office, commit to moving five minutes out of every hour, be it a lap around the office, a bathroom break or even fetching your favourite drink of choice.
– Sleep a little longer
Sleep is not overrated. In fact, studies now show that proper sleep is more important than ever before. It’s time to relearn and re-implement what was once the norm – in other words, a minimum of eight hours sleep per day.
We all know the harmful effects of sitting for long and is not good for our health. People with desk jobs often suffer from upper back issues. But a new research now shows that sitting for long at one place is harmful even if you exercise regularly.
Regular exercise, particularly higher levels of physical activity, appears to blunt these harmful effects somewhat but may not eliminate them entirely. An analysis of more than a dozen studies concluded that we need at least 60 minutes a day of moderately intense exercise (such as brisk walking, doubles tennis or ballroom dancing) to counter the increased risk of premature death due to prolonged sitting.
But another study found that the same amount of exercise which is more than most physically active people get doesn’t undo the negative effects of sitting on insulin levels and blood fats. The damage from prolonged sitting is thought to be due to reduced muscle activity, especially in the large muscles of the legs and back, which can decrease the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and remove harmful blood fats.
Between long car trips and watching the kids at the pool, summer can be a season of prolonged sitting. According to a 2015 study, there is a significant relationship between total sitting time and low back pain. The researchers included sitting for recreational and leisure purposes in their study.
Stretching has been shown to be an effective method to prevent low back pain. Regular stretching works by increasing flexibility and thereby decreasing pressure on the back, especially uneven pressure resulting from poor flexibility. Developing the right stretching program will help you to build strong and flexible muscles that will help to prevent injury.
If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you probably have read that I believe that most cases of back pain are caused by muscles strains from static postures, weak muscles, or over used muscles that are a result of having to sit all day at a desk or at a computer.
People don’t realize how many problems prolonged sitting can cause. This is because the body is not meant to stay in one position for extended periods of time. As humans, we were made to move frequently and throughout all our waking hours.
Being chained to an office or desk is actually contrary to our human nature, but, hey, what are you going to do? You have to earn a living right?
Well, one of the first things you can do begin to treat your back is to understand what is causing your pain.
This short video will briefly go over some of the primary causes of back pain and it points out the actual structures and how they can be affected.
You’ll notice that the first on the list in the video is muscular strain that comes from overuse. We we talk about overuse, it doesn’t have to be traumatic or strenuous. In fact, you really can’t get an overuse injury from doing something challenging or aggressive.
Overuse injury come from over doing small and simple movements over a period of time or days. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one overuse injury that most people have heard of. Typing or working on a computer is what most people think of when ask what the cause of carpal tunnel is. It’s the small muscles in the hands and forearms that get overused when a person is stuck typing all day or doing something similar.
But an overuse injury can come from working any muscle over and over again in small and simple movements. So, theoretically, you could have an overuse injury in most any muscle or group of muscles in the body. And this is what this particular video is pointing out.
For more information on over use injuries see this
This is an excellent video that explains what a “slipped disc” is and how it can happen. The graphics are good and will give you a visual explanation of why a slipped disc is so painful.
Usually, if you have a real slipped or ruptured intervertebral disc, it’s usually pretty severe and treated by a surgical technique that’s called a “micro-discectomy”. This is a relatively minimally invasive technique where the small piece of disc that’s causing all the problem is is snipped off.
It’s not as serious as some of the other spinal surgeries like a laminectomy or fusion and the recovery is generally pretty fast.
The video also introduces you to a chiropractic technique called “spinal decompression”. The doctors of chiropractic advertise that this technique will relieve pressure on the disc and allow it to heal over time.
I can’t really speak to this claim as I have not read much literature on the subject. But I am fairly skeptical of the claims made as the practice would be used in hospitals and also regular doctor’s offices if it was as successful as the chiropractors claim.
My recommendation would be to try to avoid getting a herniated disc in the first place. Some of the risk factors of low back injury are poor posture, generally weak lower back and legs, environmental damage like increased vibration into the lower back, and others.
One good practice that you could adopt is a regular stretching program for your lower back. This would alleviate many of the potential risks that you may have while doing your job, playing sports, or doing all those weekend chores.
A low back stretching program doesn’t have to be onerous or a headache to work into a daily routine. If done consistently on a daily basis your fitness and function iwill improve as you improve the fitness of your lower back and spine.
To find out more about an easier way to treat or prevent back pain, start here.
Remember, there are several different ways to approach back pain. Most cases of low back pain are not serious although that’s how they feel. In most cases, people’s pain is due to tight and sore muscles. These don’t show up on X-Ray reports or lab tests.
Sore tight muscles are best helped by gently stretching them. And these stretches need to become part of your lifestyle. This is because in most cases, it’s the job people do on a day to day basis that has caused the problem over time.
But, you don’t have to quit your job, you just need to start on a regular stretching program that will bring balance back to your low back muscles and joints.