Why does my back hurt sitting at my desk?

We often get asked why does my back hurt sitting at my desk? Sitting in an office chair or any chair for extended periods may lead to adverse effects on your lower back, neck, shoulders or may even aggravate a pre-existing back issue.

Could sitting at your desk be causing your back pain?

The reason is that sitting down for a long period of time increases the stress and load throughout our spine including our lower back, neck, and shoulders. This can often lead to an increase in headaches, stiffness in your neck, lower back, pins & needles in your hands, or even pain down your legs and into your feet.

When we sit in a position for long periods, we have a natural tendency to slouch over our desk or slouch in the chair like a lounge chair which adds further pressure to the joints and muscles of our spine and the nerves that exit our spine into our arms and legs.

Symptoms of prolonged sitting at your desk include:

  • A reduced range of motion of the cervical spine or neck. (You should be able to turn your head left and right evenly and without pain).
  • Pain in the upper back when moving your head.
  • Headaches when sitting for a long time.
  • Pain or stiffness in your lower back while sitting or when getting up from a seated position.
  • Pins & needles in your hands, legs, or feet.

How to prevent back pain when sitting at your desk for a prolonged periods:

  • Sit correctly in your chair and have your desk set up correctly. For instructions on proper ergonomics click here.
  • Have regular breaks and stand. We recommend you take a short break and stand every 30mins.
  • Having the correct lumbar support can assist you in maintaining the correct posture and reducing the pressure on your back. We have a wide variety of lower back supports click here.
  • Do regular stretches, this maintains your mobility overall and assists your general health and wellbeing. For a list of desk stretches, click here.
  • If you get regular pain it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis to prevent further damage.

To make an appointment today at either our Kogarah, Parramatta, or Bexley clinics call our friendly staff on 9588 700 or book online click here.

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