Is it possible to improve chronic back, neck and hip pain simply by making a few ergonomic tweaks to your lifestyle? Before opting for unnecessary surgery, consider switching up your work routine. The term "ergonomic" points to the idea of making your work life more efficient and comfortable. Here are five tried-and-true ways to do just that.
Change How You Approach Tech
More and more people are suffering from neck pain that can be traced back to staring at smartphones. The most common position is the device in lap, neck craned down. Switch up your routine by keeping all screens at eye level, which should take some undue stress off the spine.
Stand Up More
The latest office trend is swapping traditional desks for standing ones, and it's a great idea. The best way to go, ergonomically speaking, is actually to alternate between sitting and standing. Experts say that the ideal balance is to stand for five to 20 minutes every hour.
Rethink Your Chair
The University of California, Los Angeles says your office chair deserves a bit of attention. Begin by pushing your hips back into your chair as far as they can go, then adjusting the height so that, with your feet flat, your knees are equal to your hips. Another pro tip: fiddle with the armrests so that your shoulders are relaxed, instead of tense.
Pay Attention to Your Mouse and Keyboard
According to CNET, your keyboard and mouse should ideally be in positions that allow your elbows to rest at your sides. Your arms should also sit at or below a 90-degree angle. It's also best to keep your keyboard a couple of inches above your thighs and tilted downward and away from you.
Posture is Everything
Slumping in your desk chair is a surefire way to trigger pain in your neck, shoulders and/or back. Mashable recommends recalibrating by positioning your ears in line with your shoulders and also incorporating exercises like shoulder rolls throughout the day.
Consider a Lumbar-Support Pillow
Sometimes a small accessory can go a long way in getting us on the right ergonomic track. Enter the lumbar-support pillow, which is exactly what the name implies. This slim cushion goes between you and your office chair, resting up against your spine for maximum support during the workday. Wirecutter put a number of popular models to the test. The winner? An adjustable, washable memory foam option that brilliantly blends comfort and support.
Sometimes, all it takes to kick chronic pain are a few minor lifestyle changes like the ones listed above. If you're still not getting the relief you deserve, visit Arkansas Pioneer Chiropractic Health Centre in Arlington, TX. With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Viernow is Arlington's most experienced chiropractor.