If you sit for long periods of time for work, slouched over the laptop or at home while taking care of their little ones, you may have suffered from Mid back or thoracic pain. It is quite common in working mums, especially those who have sit for long hours. In this blog lets discuss three easy yet effective tips to help you manage mid-back pain when sitting.
Firstly, make sure that you maintain a proper posture while sitting. Try and avoid rounding of the shoulders, which is a form of poor posture. This is usually caused due to a forward head posture, where your head is placed forwards in relation to your body or torso. In order to balance this forward position of the head over the body, the shoulder need to be rounded. This is usually seen in those who strain their neck forwards to look at a screen for long hours. It creates a lot of stress around the neck muscles and nerves in the mid back and neck. It can also lead to irritation or compression of the nerves that exit the lower cervical spine, which can lead to nerve pain in the area between the shoulder blades or the arms and hands, cervicogenic (cervical) headaches and even contribute to poor sleep quality. Here is a video that explains this in more details:
To avoid a rounded shoulder and Forward head posture make sure that your work area is ergonomically optimized. Position your top of you laptop or phone screen is about five to 10 degrees below eye level. This will help to maintain a neutral posture of the neck, thus preventing rounded shoulders and forward head posture (see picture below).
Secondly, avoid slouching at the mid back with this simple tip. Put a tennis ball or a massage ball on the thoracic spine at the level of the shoulder blades (anywhere from the top to mid of the shoulder blades), such that it sits between your spine and the chair. Whenever you slouch the ball will roll off your mid back, thus reminding you to keep your spine erect while sitting. This simple yet effective tip is very useful to prevent slouching at the mid back and thus prevent pain at the thoracic spine.
Thirdly, take regular breaks from sitting by standing up and stretching. Our bodies are not meant for static postures, whether it is prolonged standing or prolonged sitting. Stand up, move around, and stretch every 30 minutes throughout the day to reverse the effects of being seated for extended periods. This helps reduce the strain on your back and improves blood circulation. Incorporate simple such as shoulder rolls, side bends, and gentle twists to release tension. These can be done even when you are in a meeting or a flight where you cant get up and move.
HERE is a free guide to Desk based exercises that are a set of simple exercises take only one to three minutes of your time and can be done every hour.
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