Posted by: Dr. Paul Zemella - Santa Barbara Chiropractor | August 24, 2011

Poor Posture at Work Can Cause Serious Back Injury

One of the main causes of lower back pain is prolonged sitting during the work day. Especially harmful is when people do not adjust their posture while they are sitting — over the long hours they sit stationary, they can develop bulging discs, stretched and damaged ligaments, and other problems with their backs. The poor posture that many people display when they are sitting down can lead to a progressively more painful back when they engage in other activities of their lives.

When people sit with their backs rounded and shoulders hunched, like when they are working on a computer in any office all day, the result is significantly less oxygen intake. This is because the torso is compressed with the forward rounding of the body and the breathing becomes more shallow. Many people do not even recognize how poorly they are sitting and breathing until they feel discomfort in their backs. But by this time, it may already be too late to prevent the injury to the spine.

Fact, poor posture and injury to the tissues of the spine go together so often that a deteriorated sitting position can be one of the first signs that the body is coming out of alignment. As the compressive forces on the spine become too much for the joints, ligaments, and muscles to handle, subluxations can occur, and nerve impingement or damage can be the result. As a consequence, the body has to dedicate more resources to preventing further injury, and inflammation and a loss of energy will occur.

When poor posture leads to back injuries, chiropractic adjustments may be considered by the person in order to get the body’s joints back into alignment and reduce the causes of the inflammation. Santa Barbara Chiropractor work on these misaligned vertebrae in the spine — referred to as subluxations — through the use of various hands on techniques. These hands on treatments are the actual adjustments, and the point of them is to get the vertebrae in proper alignment again in order to reduce the pain.

Santa Barbara chiropractors also have a number of other treatments that they may use with patients. One of these, for example, is spinal decompression, which uses a machine to decrease the compressive forces on the spine and allow increased blood flow and nutrient delivery into the affected area. This type of treatment has so far proven to be safe and effective for large numbers of back pain sufferers. Along with other types of therapies and adjustments, using spinal decompression can help reduce pain and promote long term healing of the spine.

Whether at work at a blue collar or white collar job, many people take on poor postures throughout the day that, over time, lead to back injury and chronic soreness. Being hunched over a desk or workstation or having to lift numerous objects can lead to misaligned spinal joints and impinged nerves. When these injuries occur, it is important for people to get their spines back to proper alignment and pain free movement first, and then improve their postures in order to prevent injury in the future.
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