Sitting at a desk
You may have encountered the term "ergonomics," which is surfacing more and more in the workplace. Ergonomics is a science concerned with designing and arranging things people use in the safest and most efficient manner possible.
Ergonomics is often applied to people who sit at a desk all day. While it seems harmless, sitting for long periods of time can actually cause back pain. It unloads weight on the back, especially if the chair is poorly designed.
Make sure your chair molds properly to your back. Many employers concerned with the safety of their workers purchase chairs that support the low back. If you are too short or too tall for your back to rest properly in these chairs, or if your company does not offer ergonomically designed chairs, consider bringing in a rolled-up towel. Place it behind your low back to reduce the amount of stress on the back.
Make sure your feet rest flat on the floor. If this is a problem, use a footstool. Proper foot and leg alignment will ease back stress.
While typing on a computer, your forearms and thighs should be parallel to ensure proper shoulder alignment. If necessary, use a pad to support your wrists while typing.
When you type, your neck should not have to crane constantly, as your eyes dart from keyboard to monitor. The monitor should be at eye-level or slightly below eye-level.
Get up and move around every half hour, even if it's just a quick stretch by the side of your desk. Your back enjoys movement, so reward it occasionally.
Scott B. Phillips, MD is a neurological surgeon based in San Antonio who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, artificial disc replacement, carpal tunnel surgery, spinal cord stimulator implants and other brain disorders, including brain tumor and chiari decompression. Patients travel from Bexar County, San Marcos and South Texas, including Corpus Christi, Kingsville, McAllen and Brownsville for treatment of back pain, neck pain, brain tumor, carpal tunnel and epilepsy-related neurological problems. Dr. Scott Phillips provides second opinions for back surgery and neck surgery, and emphasizes non-surgical treatment options in advance of spine surgery. Where surgery is necessary because of a herniated disc or spinal instability, Dr. Phillips uses minimally invasive spine surgery techniques and advanced technology like the artificial disc to help patients relieve pain symptoms and get back to activity. This spine neurosurgeon expertise enables many patients to have outpatient spine surgery and be home the same day.