How to deal with lower back pain, upper back pain, shoulder stiffness? Postural correction, ergonomic work space, and targeted exercises could be the answer.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and the following post is a compilation of online videos from physiotherapists, which was extremely informative for me. You could use these videos to gain insightful understanding of the issues with posture, pain, work space, and exercises, and then decide whats best for your well being.

Identifying the cause is important

Before coming to a solution, we need to understand the problem. So, first of all we need to be aware of where the pain occurs (lower, mid, upper back, shoulder) and what kind of pain (radiating, electric current like, stiffness etc.). I recommend that you consult a doctor and then get inputs from physiotherapists if the condition is bad.

One of the major reasons for these pains is due to posture – yes sitting is the new smoking!! See this short video on the dangers of forward head posture.

Ill effects of prolonged sitting.

A little bit more explanation on what actually happens when we sit down for prolonged periods of time without proper posture is explained here.

A more detailed demo of what happens when we sit down.

Solution 1: Sit comfortably, in neutral spine posture

Whether we have to do daily physiotherapy exercises or not, we have to understand that if we sit in front of computers for many hours a day, then we do need to focus on sitting posture. See the below video on how we have to correct sitting to be in a neutral spine posture.

Few easy solutions to maintaining comfortable, yet natural spine posture while sitting.

Solution 2: Setting up ergonomic work space

If you do not have much of problem with back aches now, I suggest that you see the following video by Dr. Alan Hedge, Cornell University which explains really nicely how to sit comfortably and work in an ergonomically correct work space.

The above two videos seems to be telling different things, but the important aspect is you are comfortable while being in natural spine posture with ample support for the entire back and head.

Solution 3: Exercises for lower back pain

Dr. Mandell explains some very important exercises that could help you in relieving the lower back pain.

Solution 4: Exercises for upper back, between shoulders, rhomboid muscles, lat muscles, and scapula

These are some very common pain areas – rhomboid muscles and scapula. Due to prolonged sitting posture, these muscles could get weaker and weaker over time. Below videos demonstrate some very effective exercises for the upper back.

Also, look at some exercise using stretch bands which can easily be done at home. The following one talks about how to get latissimus dorsi muscles to work out.

Dr. Christine explains some more easily doable exercises to get that upper back muscles working.

I hope these videos gave some insights into what is causing the back aches, and some exercises that could help you overcome them. However, my first suggestion is correct the posture and setup your work space in a ergonomic way and then practice these exercises. Put in your comments to links with videos that may help others.

!! Lokah Samasthah Sukhino Bhavantu !!
May there be well being to everybody in all worlds

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