The de-evolution of posture:
Earlier in man's history, mankind was very active physically and naturally received sufficient exercise and full body movement to stay healthy and fit... free from back pain due to poor posture. Today however, with increasing hours spent crouched over a computer in an office environment, the incidence of back pain from improper posture has increased substantially
Proper posture for a healthy spine:
It can be reasonably argued that a person's posture will indicate the health of one's nervous system and their spine. Slouching and a forward leaning head posture restricts lymphatic drainage in the neck and will cause more strain on posterior neck muscles. Offset posture & an imbalanced weight bearing on your discs can lead to premature arthritis of the neck.
Another problem connected with long periods at the computer is a forward tilt of the pelvis; this causes excessive anterior weight bearing, an increase in the lumbar lordosis (lower curvature of the spine) and associated muscle weakness.
A continued sitting/bending forward position can result in chronic lower back pain, sciatica, muscle pain, leg weakness, circulation problems of your lower extremities and more. Abnormal spinal weight distribution from this type of posture can also lead to premature spinal arthritis of your discs and joints, plus loss of movement and disability.
Taking care of your back and spine before you have problems will greatly reduce the potential for back pain. Be sure to:
- exercise regularly
- use a chair that has a backrest, or one that's ergonomically designed
- while seated, keep your feet on a foot rest, or flat on the floor
- computer users should position monitors at eye level
- sleep on a firm mattress, or one recommended by your physician
Although most simple back pains last only a few days and get better on their own, anyone experiencing the following symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible:
- back pain lasting longer than a week
- pain as a result of an injury, a blow to the back, or fall
- pain lasting more than a few days in persons under age 20, or over 55
Studies show that resting in bed doesn't help simple back pain; returning to normal physical activity as quickly as possible is best. At first, staying active may hurt, though doing so helps your back heal faster while reducing the risk of future occurrences.
If the pain is so unbearable that lying in bed seems to be your only option, it's wise to keep bed rest as short as possible... before getting up and moving about again.
Exercise & Chiropractic adjustment:
A doctor trained in chiropractic adjustments to the spine is uniquely qualified to diagnose, assess and treat back pain problems in most cases without any need for surgery. Your chiropractor can also prescribe certain exercises which are specifically designed to alleviate pain and strengthen the spine against further attacks.
Posture is truly the window to the spine and ultimately you are only as healthy as your spine. If you spend a lot of time working at computers and you're not yet benefiting from chiropractic care, the best time to start is now.