Part 2 of 3: How to Avoid Back Spasms at Your Desk - The Physio Revolution

Part 2 of 3: How to Avoid Back Spasms at Your Desk

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If you are noticing more low to mid back spasms or discomfort while sitting at your desk or home office that leave you struggling to finish your computer work, then this blog is for you…

A lot of people come to our clinic because they struggle with back pain and want to know how to stop back pain FAST without painkillers or surgery, so they can avoid slowing down or having to stop what they love to do - even if it is work!

In this blog series Part 2 of 3, we will cover how to avoid mid to low back pain while sitting at your desk using natural solutions that are practical, and easy to implement in your life and with virtually any desk or chair you have at home.

Why Do I Have Back Pain When I Sit At My Desk?

There's 2 big reasons why people have mid to low back pain when they sit at their desks and it really comes down to these 2 things: your set-up and how often you leave your desk.

Because you can spend so much time sitting at the desk, it's very important you get the optimal position that is sustainable for your back and spine to feel comfortable. Often times, people just sit down and get lost in work - so it leaves them forgetting to check in on how they've been sitting or what position is causing their discomfort.

And, to add to that, many times people can get stuck sitting for hours on end. Clients will tell us they got lost in their work and didn't get up from the chair for over 8 hours. Sitting and resting in one posture for a long duration of time is never going to help a back or any part of the body for that matter to feel good. So, what should you do instead?

How to Reduce Back Pain So You Can Sit Easily At Your Desk

If you struggle to sit comfortably at your desk, there are a number of natural ways to reduce back pain and help you get comfortable.

What To Do To Reduce Back Pain So You Can Sit

A good starting point is get in a chair that has a back rest. When your back is spasming, it needs a little bit more support to help relax it.

Second point, make sure to check in on your chair to desk height. Basically, you want your feet to be able to touch the ground comfortably, while making sure that your knee and hip are parallel to one another. Raise or lower your chair to assure this is possible for your back. If you don't have an adjustable chair, putting cushions or pillows under your bottom will raise your hips higher and more neutral to your knee height.

Lastly, try a semi-firm lumbar support at the small of your back or just above your buttocks. You'll want something like a beach towel rolled up, small lumbar pillow folded, or anything that can be of a firm surface to help support you in a better, neutral position.

Remember - try to find a position where your knee and hip are parallel to one another. This will set up your foundation to be in a good position to support your entire spine.

What’s The Best Thing To Do For Reducing Back Pain When Sitting?

Set An Alarm!

If you're like everyone else we see, you likely get caught up on the computer or on Youtube videos and this can make 45 to 90 minutes go by in a breeze! It's often too late when you notice your back starting to spasm or tighten up. 

So, the goal is to stay ahead of the discomfort. In order to do this, you'll just need to set an alarm on your phone to help remind you every 20-30 minutes to get up and move. 

Something as small as just walking to the kitchen and back to get a glass of water or standing and marching in place is a great place to start to lubricate your joints, especially your back. This is going to be very important to do and to remember then to set the alarm again once you come back. Rinse & repeat setting that alarm to stay ahead of stiffness and low back spasms.

An important thing to remember with sitting is to change up positions often. There's no "perfect posture" that exists. If there was a perfect posture that we'd recommend - it'd be one that supported you moving often and frequently instead of staying in 1 position for too long.

Watch the video above to learn more from Dr. Brooke about How to Sit to Avoid Back Spasms.



Brooke Olsen

Brooke Olsen

Co-Founder, Director of Physical Therapy
Brooke is a physical therapist, director of physical therapy, and co-founder at The Physio Revolution. She has worked with professional athletes from Olympic level and recreational weekend warriors to others who are in need of regaining their independence and mobility back in their everyday life. Brooke works extensively with all of the PT’s and spends a vast amount of her time ensuring our treatment plans keep pace with the rapid advancements that make physical therapy so effective and such a ‘go-to’ profession for people aged 45+.
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