Research on ailments in the workplace suggests that 60% of people suffer from lower back pain (LBP) at some point in their lives.
LBP is a significant health problem in today’s society and considered to be one of the leading causes of medical expenses, absenteeism from work and disability. In fact, research in the United States revealed that 30 to 40 percent of workplace absences are related to LBP.
Symptoms of LBP range from a dull throb in the back, to constant headaches to difficulties in walking or standing.
Poor posture leads to LBP
According to Dr Reg Engelbrecht, CEO of the Chiropractic Association of South Africa, LBP can often be attributed to poor posture.
Awkward or constrained postures are associated with increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders. If left untreated, it may have a negative effect on a person’s work performance. Any posture, which constrains the body in an awkward position, puts greater pressure on the joints and muscles and increases the risk of nerve compression.
Good posture allows your spinal vertebrae to be properly aligned, which aids your nervous system, muscles, joints and ligaments to function in harmony with one another.
It’s essential for the spinal column to function optimally, as it acts as both a supportive frame for the body and also protects sensitive and delicate structures such as the spinal nerves and the vital organs. A properly aligned spine allows your vital organs to function optimally and is therefore considered a significant factor in determining your overall well-being.
Chiropractors can reduce pain levels
“We are seeing an increasing number of working people developing backache, especially those that work in front of a computer all day. Much of this can be attributed to bad posture and a badly designed desk set-up,” Dr Engelbrecht says.
“Through gentle spinal adjustment, chiropractors are able to reduce pain levels and alleviate LBP. A chiropractor will also be able to recommend therapeutic exercises that enable the spinal muscles to support the spinal column and consequently aid in the optimal functioning of the nervous system.”
Chiropractic is a health profession specialising in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the affects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health.
The Chiropractic Association of South Africa offers the following tips on back care:
- Take regular breaks and walk around the office. This increases your blood circulation and maintains tissue flexibility.
- Stretch your arms and legs while at your chair. Weak muscles increase your risk of back pain.
- Sit up straight. Poor posture puts unnecessary strain on your spine.
- Visit a chiropractor regularly.
- (Dr Reg Engelbrecht, Chiropractic Association of South Africa)