How to Relieve Back Pain From Sitting - Caitlin Parsons Yoga Therapy
How to Relieve Back Pain From Sitting
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How to Relieve Back Pain From Sitting

Let me guess, you are here because you’re tired of being in pain from sitting down for long periods of time. You’re not alone there. I’m sure you’ve heard, sitting in general is not good for our posture, mental state, and overall health of our bodies. According to this article from Mayo Clinic, there are a number of health concerns caused from sitting. In the article, they continue to say:

“Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels — that make up metabolic syndrome. Too much sitting overall and prolonged periods of sitting also seem to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.”

The American Chiropractic Association states that “one-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.” There is more than 264 million lost work days in one year. Since sitting and working at a desk is not going away anytime soon, the question is, what do we do about it? How can we feel our best even if the sitting culture isn’t going away?

In this article, I will share three simple tips to help you feel better while you’re at work, and throughout your everyday life. If you have any questions, or you are looking for additional support on this process, send me a message so I can help. We can set up an ergonomic consultation and assessment to get you all set up and ready to go!

Tip #1: Set Yourself Up for Success

The way you set up your workspace makes a huge difference on the position of your body. Because our bodies weren’t designed to sit, there are two things that will help you prevent unnecessary strain, pain and keep you feeling good. If you sit for long periods of time, learning how to sit properly and adjusting your workspace to support your body are must-have’s.

In this article from Mayo Clinic Health System, you will learn how to properly setup of your workspace and why it’s important for each area of the body. Remember that by adjusting everything, you change the way your body is positioned. This in turn affects the amount your body has to work.

Below is a list of recommended adjustments to ensure you have the best workspace

  • Your hips are either parallel to or higher than your knees. Your back and hip flexors will thank you.
  • Your feet are touching the ground or a stable surface beneath you. We don’t want any of that side-lean going on, that’s not good for your hips or your low back.
  • Your spine is long (check out the next tip for support with this) and your head is over the rest of your spine. 
  • Your shoulders are down away from the ears and hugging towards the spine on your back – stop hunching!
  • Your elbow is parallel to or higher than the desk and it’s tucked in towards the side of your rib cage. 
  • Your computer/monitor is at eye level so you don’t have to look down at the computer all day.
  • Your mouse isn’t far out to the side or high up so your hand/arm/shoulder stays in alignment

For additional support, send me a message and we can discuss the opportunity to set up a ergonomic consultation, a 60 minute session, where we also adjust your workplace setup as needed.

Tip #2: Get Support

One of my favorite tips to share is how to bring in support to our workspace instead of trying to do it all alone. For most, the hardest part about sitting is keeping your back straight all day. This is where you can grab a pillow or roll a blanket and place it at the back of your chair for support.

By placing a pillow or rolled blanket behind your low back, you not only sit up more straight. In addition, it becomes so much easier to sit up straight for long periods of time. Your body won’t work as hard and you won’t feel as many negative effects as a result.

You don’t need a special pillow, you can grab one from your bed or couch to start. You can also roll a blanket like a burrito and use that instead. The placement of the pillow or blanket depends on the size of said prop and each body’s unique alignment. As a general rule of thumb, you want it to be between your low back and mid back.My best recommendation is to give both a go and see what you think!

Tip #3: Move Your Body

This is one of the most important tips but it often gets overlooked. Even if you have the best ergonomic set up, we know sitting for long periods of time isn’t good for our bodies. Circulation isn’t flowing properly, it’s more challenging to breathe, our muscles aren’t being used properly, and so much more. Our bodies need to move!!!

One thing we can do to counteract the negative effects from sitting is to simply move our bodies. While any movement is often better than no movement, we want to focus on specific movement that helps circulation, stretches and strengthens postural muscles, and supports your overall health. This is where yoga therapy comes in as an ideal practice. You can receive amazing benefits by doing a short practice before, during or after work!

Yoga comes in many forms but my specific style is designed to help desk workers, dental professionals, and other struggling with posture and pain. According to the NCBI in this study, Yoga is used as a form of treatment for chronic pain and many other ailments.

In yoga therapy, I will help you:

  • Build awareness of your body and how to listen to the signs it gives you before pain arises.
  • Learn how to stretch and strengthen the muscles support good posture.
  • Learn how to improve your posture and the way you move your body to prevent pain and injury.

These tools are invaluable and have helped so many people live pain free. If you are interested in learning more about yoga therapy and how it can support you with posture and pain relief, consider joining Aligned Online Membership. Aligned is my monthly yoga therapy and wellness membership program. Inside Aligned, you get unlimited access to a library of 100+ therapeutic classes, trainings and practices on demand, weekly live therapeutic classes, and so much more.

Aligned is a community and hub for your wellness journey. Click here to learn more and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or you’re wondering if it’s a fit for you.

Choose to Be The Change

While sitting isn’t ideal for our bodies, there are so many things we can do to make us feel better, be healthier and thrive in our lives. Start to implement these tips and watch your body respond. You can start with one at a time or maybe you feel inspired to do all three.

Enjoy getting your workspace set up, exploring different back support systems, and finding new ways to move your body! If you have any questions or you want additional support for this, click here to connect with me.

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