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Tips on Preventing Back Pain at the Office

Most of us spend our days working 9 to 5 jobs behind a desk. Unfortunately, this type of sedentary lifestyle can often lead to back pain. In fact, 31 million Americans experience back pain at any given point in time. Check out these back pain facts from the American Chiropractic Association:

  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
  • Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.3
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs


Common Causes of Back Pain at Work

Are you one of the 31 million Americans suffering from lower back pain? Unfortunately, work may be a contributing factor.

Three of the most common causes of back pain at work are improper lifting technique, sitting with poor posture, and sitting for too long. How can these be prevented? Read on for more information.

How to Prevent Back Pain at Work

Stretch. If you sit at a desk the majority of the day, a great way to prevent back pain is to take frequent breaks. Experts recommend taking a break from sitting at least once an hour by stretching. Stretch your arms, move your legs, roll should shoulders, etc.

Use a cushion mat. Are you on your feet most of the day? If so, try standing on a cushioned rubber mat. This will help increase circulation and relieve your legs and back from fatigue. You’ll be amazed at how much this helps!

Don’t stay seated. As you sit at your desk for hours on end, you create pressure on your spine, discs, and joints. This pressure is a common cause of lower back pain! To prevent these aches, pains, and imbalances, get up and take a stroll around the office, to the restroom, or outside at least once an hour. If you can, try moving around every 30 minutes.

Evaluate your desk. Is your desk set up a cause of your back pain? Todd Sinett, author of The Truth About Back Pain, recommends sitting back at a 135-degree angle so your muscles can relax and the space in your chest can open. Make sure your chair supports your lower back. If it doesn’t, use a pillow for added support. Also position your computer screen so that you can hold your head straight while looking at your screen. You want your feet to rest lightly on the floor. If you’re on the shorter side, use a foot rest.

Watch what you eat. Cortisol, which the body produces in stressful situations, is impacted by what we eat. When high levels of cortisol are present in the body, it can inflame connective tissues and cause pain! Eat a well rounded diet of whole foods to avoid this painful inflammation. Focus on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, proteins, nuts, seeds, and water.

Check for imbalances. Imbalances, however small, can often be a cause of back pain at work. Do you sit on your wallet? Does your office chair lean slightly one way or the other? Do you cradle your phone between your head and shoulder? If so, it’s time to stop and even things out. Your spine will thank you!

Reduce stress. Did you know that when you feel tense, you tend to contract your muscles? This can cause muscle spasms. It can also make you more susceptible to injury. Whenever possible, try and find ways to reduce stress at work. Take a walk during your break, eat lunch with a friend, etc.

Be careful. If your job involves heavy lifting or the occasional bend or twist to file something, you need to pay attention to how you move. When you bend or lift, use your knees and core muscles. Lift with your leg muscles and make sure not to stand as you bend forward. It’s also important not to twist as you bend over.

Exercise. Exercising outside of work can decrease the frequency of lower back pain. By getting in shape and building a stronger core, you are strengthening your body as a whole! A healthier body and a healthier lifestyle are critical elements in achieving a high level of wellness.

Gold Coast Chiropractic Can Help Treat Your Lower Back Pain

Are you or a loved one experiencing lower back pain? Chiropractic treatment can help!

Dr. Fisher at Gold Coast Chiropractic, located in Chicago, Illinois, can help treat your lower back pain. As an expert in the chiropractic field, his knowledge and patient care continually ranks him as one of the best chiropractors in Chicago.

Often, lower back pain is caused by subluxations in the spine. Dr. Fisher will identify if any subluxations are present. Next, he will correct these subluxations with spinal manipulation and adjustments. By addressing lower back pain at its source, Dr. Fisher’s amazing care can help prevent back pain from returning.

He will help form a treatment plan, suggest exercises, and offer lifestyle changes that can help correct your lower back pain once and for all.

Do no accept lower back pain as a part of your life. There is no need to treat the symptoms with over the counter or prescription medications. Treat lower back pain at its source with chiropractic care!

Call our offices today at 312.988.9655 or email us at to schedule your appointment today! Let Dr. Fisher and Gold Coast Chiropractic help you start living your best life, today!