As a chiropractor in the city of Boston, I see a lot of cubicle dwellers and students. I have come to realize that majority of them have the same complaint: upper back/neck pain and occasionally low back pain.
When I ask them what’s provocative, the answer is almost scripted: “Sitting at my computer! “Or on my phone, or on my ipad, etc. the simple answer to this is “well stop doing that!” But in today’s society that simply is not an option.
New research actually suggests that the seated posture that many of us have adapted too is actually shortening our life span This is due to the strain that prolonged sitting has on not only all of our muscles but also our organs!
Think about it, when you are sitting with a hunched posture staring at your computer screen your shoulders are drawn forward your abdominals and other postural muscles aren’t firing as they should causing a compression and shortening through the front of your body and spine. This affects even breathing and proper vaulting of the diaphragm. This causes us to begin to use other accessory breathing muscles such as our scalenes and other neck muscles, ultimately leading to inadequate oxygen which gives us that feeling of “brain fog”. Additionally, the seated posture affects blood flow to the brain due to excessive neck craning and hunching of the shoulders. All these factors also affect spinal alignment. This static posture causes severe muscle imbalances such as hyperactivity of the trap muscles and inactivity of other muscles such as your rhomboids. This will ultimately lead to pain, as most of you already know.
What can you do to correct this?
See a chiropractor! We are musculoskeletal specialists. We focus on restoring the motion to the spine which will help to correct muscle imbalances and improve posture! The only way the spine gets nutrition is through movement; restoring proper spinal movement will keep your discs healthy. By restoring proper movement to the spine in specific regions we can precisely target the involved muscle groups as well (because the muscles attach to the bones), aiding in the re-education of the muscles and restoration of appropriate posture.
Movement is life.
Check this out from the Washington Post for some more great info on the seated posture: