It’s pretty well understood that if you have the flu, or some other contagious disease, you should call out sick from work rather than expose your colleagues to the same misfortune and illness. But suffering from pain is a completely different story, especially when discomfort is a chronic condition. Even the most understanding offices are unlikely to overlook multiple days off caused by a strained or painful back. So, what’s a cubicle dweller to do when they’re experiencing shooting pains?
The obvious and first answer is that you should make an appointment with a lumbar spine specialist in New Jersey who can help you identify the cause of your problem and find a solution. But for more immediate relief, there are some stretches you can do unobtrusively that may offer much-needed relief.
What most people don’t realize is that just sitting at their desk is a big contributor to back pain – in fact, recent studies have shown that prolonged periods of sitting can lead to bone degeneration that is similar to what the astronauts endure when they are in zero-gravity environments. Our backs were designed to move, and the more we are stationary, the more vulnerable they are to problems and pain. Our muscles get weak and that allows the vertebrae to compress. This leads to nerves and discs getting squeezed. The first thing that desk jockeys need to do is get up and move around on a regular basis – just walking around the office every fifteen minutes or so can go a long way to preventing pain.
Beyond that, there are some stretches you can do while you’re at your desk, without anybody being any the wiser, that can ease discomfort. Try these:
• Seated Hamstring Stretch – Sit up straight with both feet on the floor. Hold onto the edge of your desk, flex your foot, and stretch it out in front of you. This stretches your hamstrings and releases the lower back.
• Seated Spinal Roll – Sit up straight with both feet on the floor, then slowly roll your spine down, starting at the top of your head and concentrating on progressing vertebrae by vertebrae. If you want a more pronounced stretch you can push your hips forward in your chair a bit. This move eases tension in your spine.
• Seated Twist – Sit up straight with your feet flat and your spine straight. Lift your chin and align your neck backwards while lengthening your spine as much as you can. Then exhale as you slowly twist to your right. Turn back to center as you inhale. Repeat with a twist to the left.
• Seated Hip Stretch – Sit on the edge of your chair and bring your right foot up onto your left knee. Pull your foot back a bit, then press down until you feel a stretch in your glutes. Lean forward to increase the stretch. Repeat with other leg.
Each of these moves helps to loosen tightness in the muscles and the spine, and can help make being in the office more tolerable. If your symptoms continue, make sure that you seek help from a lumbar spine specialist in New Jersey.