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  • Writer's pictureVITUS

ERGONOMICS TO PREVENT AND MANAGE SPINAL PAIN

Many people who suffer from spinal pain are unable to perform daily activities and struggle to complete simple tasks like getting dressed, sitting at a desk, or even walking. One of the most effective ways to prevent and manage spinal pain is through ergonomics.


Ergonomics is the study of how people interact with their environment, and how to design that environment to optimize human performance and wellbeing. In the context of spinal pain, ergonomics focuses on optimizing the way people sit, stand, and move to reduce stress on the spine and prevent injury. Here are some tips to help your patients prevent and manage spinal pain through ergonomics:


  • Pay attention to posture Posture is one of the most important factors in preventing and managing spinal pain. Encourage your patients to pay attention to their posture throughout the day, especially when sitting at a desk or standing for long periods of time. They should sit with their feet flat on the floor, their back straight, and their shoulders relaxed. When standing, they should distribute their weight evenly on both feet and avoid standing in one position for too long.

  • Choose the right chair Choosing the right chair is crucial for preventing and managing spinal pain. The chair should be adjustable so that it can be customized to the individual's height and body type. It should have good lumbar support to help maintain the natural curve of the spine, and the seat should be deep enough to provide support for the thighs without cutting off circulation.

  • Set up the workstation properly The workstation should be set up so that the computer screen is at eye level, the keyboard is at elbow height, and the mouse is within easy reach. This will help to prevent strain on the neck, shoulders, and arms. Encourage your patients to take breaks every 30-60 minutes to stretch and move around.

  • Use the right tools Using the right tools can also help to prevent and manage spinal pain. For example, using a headset instead of cradling the phone between the ear and shoulder can prevent neck and shoulder strain. Using a document holder can reduce strain on the neck and shoulders when reading or typing.

  • Lift heavy objects properly Improper lifting is a common cause of spinal pain. Encourage your patients to lift heavy objects using their legs, not their back. They should keep their feet shoulder-width apart, squat down to pick up the object, and use their leg muscles to lift it. They should avoid twisting or bending at the waist while lifting.

  • Exercise regularly Regular exercise can help to prevent and manage spinal pain. Encourage your patients to engage in low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, or cycling to strengthen the muscles that support the spine. Yoga and Pilates can also be helpful for improving flexibility and strengthening core muscles.

  • Maintain a healthy weight Excess weight can put strain on the spine and contribute to spinal pain. Encourage your patients to maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

  • Use heat and cold therapy Heat and cold therapy can be helpful for managing spinal pain. Cold therapy can reduce inflammation and numb pain, while heat therapy can increase blood flow and promote healing. Encourage your patients to experiment with both to see which works best for them.

  • Avoid prolonged sitting Prolonged sitting can put pressure on the spine and contribute to spinal pain. Encourage your patients to take breaks every 30-60 minutes to stretch and move around. They can also try using a standing desk or a balance ball chair to reduce the amount of time they spend sitting.

  • Get enough sleep Getting enough sleep is crucial for overall health and wellbeing, including spinal health

At Vitus Clinical Services, our team of spine and pain specialists can help you manage your spinal pain through a comprehensive approach that includes ergonomic interventions, physical therapy, medication management, and other non-invasive treatments. We will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and goals. Our goal is to help you achieve a better quality of life by reducing your pain and improving your spinal health. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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