The majority of chiropractic patients probably fall in the age range 20-65, and, although some may have retired, most of them will either be working or caring for family.
Women, particularly in their 20-40’s, often wear high heels, which can lead to lower back pain, as it alters the normal S-shaped curve of the spine, affecting its ability to act as a shock absorber. They also often carry large shoulder bags, containing everything but the kitchen sink! Minimising what they carry and using a bag with a long strap that can be worn across the body, or using a rucksack, will reduce the likelihood of neck, shoulder and lower back pain. If you need to take a laptop to work, use a rucksack rather than a laptop bag as this will distribute the weight more evenly and reduce the strain on your body problems. If you have to stand up, wear comfortable supportive shoes, stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your knees slightly bent, and try to hold on to a rail within easy reach so you don’t have to overstretch. If you are lucky enough to get a seat, make sure you sit with your bottom and shoulder blades against the back of the seat.
Commuting by car can also cause lower back pain due to the amount of time spent sitting whilst commuting and at work, as the load on the lumbar spine is about 50% more when sitting than when standing. Make sure the position of your seat, head rests, mirrors and steering wheel is set up correctly for you and adjust the lumbar support as necessary to support you lower back.
If you regularly use a laptop, make sure your workstation is set up correctly. Consider using a vertical laptop stand or a separate screen at eye level so that you are not looking down at the screen, and make sure everything is within arm’s reach, so you do not have to overstretch to reach things. Sit on an adjustable chair with your bottom and shoulders against the seat back, your feet flat on the floor, your knees bent, and your hips higher than your knees. The chair should have arm rests so that your elbows are level with the desk, and your shoulders and arms are relaxed. Using a mouse mat with a gel wrist support, or a vertical mouse may help to prevent repetitive strain injury in your wrists.
Make sure that you don’t sit in the same position for prolonged periods to minimise back pain, get up regularly and walk around to stimulate your circulation and improve your posture, and ensure that you keep hydrated.
If you travel by plane for work or on holiday, use a wheeled case and push it rather than pull it to reduce any twisting in your spine. Take care removing it from the carousel, ensuring that you don’t lift it and twist at the same time
If you have experienced any of the issues outlined above, come and have a free 15 minute assessment with one of our chiropractors to see if chiropractic treatment may be of benefit to you.