Back pain is one of the most common ailments affecting people. It’s a problem worsened by sitting all day at a desk – a position taken by millions of Americans for most of the workday. A few simple steps can help workers avoid back pain and other ailments that might require physical therapy.
Karen Joubert, a physical therapist whose client list includes Jennifer Aniston, Cher, and Serena Williams, has some preventative tips that she says will work well for anyone, whether they are a celebrity, an athlete, or an office worker.
Here’s what she told People magazine.
- Proper seating position. Your feet need to be flat on the floor and your back must be up against the chair, Joubert says. Also, the computer screen must be eye level in order to avoid neck strain.
- Take time to move. It’s not good to remain in the same position for an extended period of time. Joubert recommends changing positions every 20 to 30 minutes in order to ease the stress that sitting imposes on the spine, the muscles, and the ligaments of the body. Her recommendation applies to both standing and sitting desks. One good exercise she recommends is to stand with your head, shoulders, butt, and heels pressed against the wall, and then open your palms.
- Adjust your posture. Don’t slouch. It’s easy to forget the proper seating position and slump down in the chair or lean forward, which places more strain on the neck and shoulders. But Joubert explains that proper sitting engages the body’s core, which makes it easier t breath, takes less energy, and can help you be more productive.
- Listen to your body. If something hurts, it’s your body’s way of telling you that you’re doing something wrong. To address the pain, you need to figure out the root cause of the problem. That might mean seeking professional help from a physical therapist. A pinched nerve or a pulled muscle will requires different approaches to manage the pain.
Physical therapy goes beyond managing the aches and pains that come from athletic activity. Routine activity from everyday life can also cause pains that require professional attention.
If interested in learning more about this and related topics, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.
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