RTE Lifestyle Feature. Back Pain Tips.

If you or someone you know gets back pain after a period of time sitting at a desk, working at a computer, watching TV or driving the car, read on.

I want to share a simple Physio tip with you right now to help you. The spine should have 3 curves as shown in this side profile (facing left).

In a seated position the lower curve of the spine changes, we lose that natural inward/concave curve. Sustaining that position for a long period of time has the potential to cause issues. Muscles, tendons and ligaments adjust and adapt to the seated position which is why we often find it sore to get up and move out of that position.

Our body usually lets us know if there’s a problem with a pain signal. Unfortunately when it comes to an overuse injury like we so frequently see in the back, there is a lot of dysfunction building up long before the pain signal strikes.

Don't ignore back pain at workDon’t ignore back pain at work
So what can you do to help yourself?
Use a small lumbar support when sitting. You don’t need anything too fancy. A rolled up bathroom hand towel will do the trick placed in between the lower spine and the back of the chair.

Get up and move more frequently than you already do. Our bodies love movement. We were never designed to sit for long periods. Use the water cooler/kitchen/bathroom breaks…within reason! Click here on my site, Performance Yoga for some easy office stretches.

Get your ergonomics check out!
If you spend a lot of time working at a computer it is a good idea to have your work-station assessed to ensure it suits you. Your employer will point you in the right direction here.

This is some of the frontline advice I offer to patients presenting with sitting related back pain. Hopefully you or someone you know will find these tips useful. Not all back pain can be resolved by a simple change of position and support. Back pain usually has many factors associated and addressing each factor is the secret to managing the issue. Your local Chartered Physiotherapist or GP will be able to guide you in the right direction.

Orla Crosse is a Chartered Physiotherapist and treats patients in Clonmel and Mitchelstown. Her Sports Yoga Classes are ongoing in Clonmel, Tipperary. See www.performanceyoga.ie for more details.