Sitting for long periods in an incorrect posture, such as slouching or hunching over a desk, can put a strain on the muscles and ligaments in your back and neck. Spending long hours sitting at a desk without getting up and moving around can also cause muscles to stiffen and lead to pain.
There are many different types of back pain, and they can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, strain, and underlying medical conditions.
Some of the most common types of back pain include:
- Mechanical back pain: This type of pain is caused by problems with the joints, bones, and soft tissues in the back, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.
- Muscle strain: Overuse or injury to the muscles and ligaments in the back can cause muscle strain, which can result in pain and spasms.
- Sciatica: This is a type of nerve pain that runs from the lower back down the legs and is caused by a herniated disc or other spinal condition.
- Degenerative disc disease: As we age, the discs in our back can wear down and cause pain, especially in the lower back.
- Osteoporosis-related back pain: This type of pain is caused by the bone loss that occurs with osteoporosis, which can lead to fractures and compression of the spinal cord.
List of exercises you can do to avoid them at work
Shoulder blade squeeze
The Shoulder Blade Squeeze is a simple exercise that helps to improve posture, strengthen the upper back, and alleviate pain and tension in the shoulders.
Squeeze your shoulder blades together, bringing them towards each other as if you were trying to touch them in the middle of your back. Hold the squeeze for a few seconds, then release. Repeat the squeeze and release several times.
The neck stretch is a simple and effective way to relieve tension and improve mobility in the neck. Slowly tilt your head to one side, bringing your ear towards your shoulder. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, then release and repeat on the other side. To increase the stretch, you can gently apply pressure to your head with your hand.
It’s important to perform neck stretches slowly and gently to avoid straining the neck muscles. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop the stretch immediately and seek medical advice. Neck stretches can be done as part of a warm-up routine or as a stand-alone exercise to help improve flexibility and relieve neck pain.
Seated spinal twist
Seated spinal twist is a yoga pose that involves twisting the spine while seated. It typically involves sitting with legs extended, crossing one foot over the other knee, and twisting the torso to the opposite side while using the arm as leverage to deepen the twist. The pose can help improve spinal flexibility and digestion while also stretching the hips and lower back.
Upper back stretch
Upper back stretches are a group of exercises that target the muscles in the upper back, neck, and shoulders. These stretches can help improve posture, relieve tension and pain, and increase flexibility.
- Shoulder rolls: Lift your shoulders towards your ears, then roll them back and down in a circular motion.
- Upper back extension: Sit or stand with your hands on your lower back, and gently arch your upper back backwards.
- Thread the needle: Start on all fours, then reach one arm under your opposite arm, threading it through and stretching the upper back.
- Chest stretches: Stand with your arms out to the sides, then bring them behind you and clasp your hands together, stretching your chest and upper back.
Performing these exercises regularly can help relieve tension in your back and neck, improve posture, and reduce the risk of pain and injury. All these exercises will no more than 10 minutes. Remember to start slow and gradually increase the duration and intensity of the exercises as you become more comfortable.