Preventing back pain at the office

If you are spending long days at your desk, it can become very uncomfortable for your back and shoulders. Cappino physiotherapist Monica Trozzo provides some tips to combat back pain at your desk: 

1. Sit like a stickman! Back straight, ears over shoulders, hips at 90 deg and aligned with your knees. Knees at 90 degrees and feet (or foot if crossing legs) flat on the floor.

2. Your computer should be directly in front of you and at eye level, you should not be looking up nor down to look at your screen. Make sure your elbows are close to your body and forming a 90 degree angle to avoid repetitive stress and possibly  injury to the upper extremity and neck.

3. Consider placing a small rolled up towel or lumbar roll in the hollow of your back between the back and your chair. This ensures proper spinal positioning as you sit at your desk.

4. Movement is KEY! The spine hates being in a static position for a prolonged period of time so make it a point to get up every hour to walk. This may be as simple as getting something from the printer, pouring a coffee, consulting with a colleague etc.

5. If leaving your desk is not an option, move your neck in a circular motion clockwise and then counterclockwise to help prevent stiff and painful joints.

6. Shoulder shrugs and circular shoulder movements are also a great way to shed off some of that stress that tends to build up in the head and neck.

7. Breathe through your tummy (push tummy out) and not through the chest. Place a hand on your tummy and one on your chest and if you are breathing correctly, the hand on your tummy should be the first to move.

Let’s remember that when we remain active, we prevent injury! For more tips or to consult with a physiotherapist, call 514-684-9073.