Three ways to combat back pain from sitting at your desk

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DENVER -- Many of us spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen and that affects our body in so many ways. Sitting for long periods can increase out risk of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.

But the thing many of us notice on a weekly basis is back pain. At the Joint Chiropractic clinic in Denver, doctors say half of their patients come in for back pain that is caused from sitting at work.

“I’m in marketing, so I sit behind a computer all day long,” said Bridget Gage, a patient at The Joint.

She came for help after the pain began to interfere with the rest of her life. “I think everybody that sits at a computer like that all day feels that pain and it definitely affects you in every aspect of your life,” she said.

Doctors say sitting can compress the discs. “A lot of it is that low back pain, that pressure that’s put on the discs, but there's also the forward head carriage, the rounding of the shoulders, that technology neck that we all suffer from,” said Dr. Brandon Heath with The Joint Chiropractic.

He suggested three basic stretches that you can do at work or at home.

  1. Figure Four: Sit on a chair and put your ankle across the opposite knee and push into it
  2. Rag Doll: Stand up and bend over at the waist and let your upper body hang
  3. Cat/Cow: Get on all fours and drop the belly, then arch the back like a cat

Doctor Heath also says it’s important to get up as much as you can while you are at work. Perhaps you can walk around while you take a phone call. Plus, it’s important to practice good body positioning while on the computer.

Tips like that, along with regular adjustments, really helped Bridget.