A sedentary lifestyle and long hours in front of a computer have lead to an estimated 50% of young people suffering from neck and/or back pain.
According to the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), an increasing number of people under 30 are experiencing pain in their necks and backs caused by spending up to 10 hours per day sitting in a chair, usually behind a computer screen. A youthful portion of the population is seeking medical treatment for this complaint in record numbers, and creating what British healthcare professionals are calling a “sedentary epidemic.”
The BCA states that back and neck pain among 16 to 24-year olds has risen from 28% to 45% in a single year. That amounts to a 60% increase! They add that almost one quarter of young people surveyed say they deal with back and neck pain on a daily basis.
How Posture Relates to Neck and Back Pain
According to Spine-health.com, maintaining proper posture is a very effective means of keeping the “intricate structures in the back and spine healthy,” and is particularly necessary for people who spend long periods of time sitting while at work. The stress poor postures places on the spine can lead to a number of health conditions that include headaches and fatigue as well as back and neck pain.
Neck pain is commonly attributed to “forward head posture”—a position where the neck slants forward and places the head in front of the shoulders. Think of how people position their heads and necks when texting or using a tablet. It’s quite often at a forward angle.
Over time, this posture causes irritation of joints, ligaments and soft tissue that can lead to limited range of motion and degenerative disc disease.
Ways to Alleviate Neck and Back Pain Caused by Sitting
Healthcare professionals have many suggestions for alleviating or reducing the pain associated with sitting for long periods of time. They advise taking breaks to stand or walk every 30 minutes, stretching frequently, and remaining hydrated with water rather than caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee or soda.
The Reverse Arch Stretch at Your Desk
Spine-health.com endorses a “Reverse Arch Stretch” that was “specifically developed to quickly counteract negative spinal, shoulder, wrist, finger and organ system effects from forward hunching computer posture.” This simple stretch provides immediate relief from aching joints and muscles in just a few seconds.
Assume the Correct Position
When sitting at a computer, it’s recommended that you ensure that the top of the screen is level with your eyebrows. Your chair should be tipped forward a bit so that your knees are slightly higher than your hips. Standing desks are also gaining popularity as sitting for extended periods of time is often referred to as “the new smoking,” a practice that can shave years off your life.
If you’re concerned about how neck and back pain is negatively impacting your life, Dr. Kornel can help provide you with solutions.
Visit http://brainandspinesurgeon.com or call (914) 351-3600 to learn more about Dr. Kornel and how his expertise can benefit you.