Hey Dr. Wild,
I started a desk job recently and I’m always hunched over my keyboard. Since then, I have to crack my neck and back 2-3 times a day to feel some relief from back pain – it’s not excruciating pain, but I’m just very aware that my middle back is not quite right.
Is cracking my back (spinning left to right) ok to do? And is there a way to stop the pain that, I think, has come from working on a computer?
Prolonged sitting has been attributed to many health conditions (please see this week’s column of The Wellness Corner in The Canowindra Phoenix to find out more) including neck pain. When we slouch, the muscles of our back and neck literally switch off and desensitizes the nerves responsible for stabilising your neck leaving all the ligaments, joints and discs open for injury – not a good scenario right?
Cracking your own neck and back may offer some instant but very short term relief hence why you are doing it 2-3 times per day without it getting better. You can only crack the joints that are moving too much however this causes them to move even more creating instability. When you feel this instability, you crack it again, causing more instability and so goes the cycle.
Chiropractors will specifically target joints that are jammed up, just like rusty door hinges which don’t move properly. Loads are then distributed evenly and you start to heal and feel better for the long term!
Having said that Tim, there is a lot that you can do to help yourself;
1: Go to YouTube and look at sitting ergonomics or even desk ergonomics; there you will find great tips!
2: Exercise regularly; improves the strength and coordination of the muscles that control posture and stability
3: Gentle neck stretches and range of motion exercises are a great way to improve mobility
4: Icing helps reduce inflammation that is causing your pain and also helps to numb the area i.e. pain management
As always, if symptoms persist you should see your chiropractor. Let me know if you have any other questions Tim. Good luck and have a great day!
Do you have a question about back pain, tension, poor energy levels or other ailments? You can ask our chiropractic specialist Dr. Adam Wild by filling out this form.