I think everyone will agree with me that the year 2020 was very unusual and dramatic, I lost two of my family members due to COVID-19 and a couple of my family and friends got laid off including myself and some ran in to trouble with their businesses.
In twelve years of clinical experience, I always heard and treated pain due to prolong sitting, computer use, postural pain; but this was the first time I experienced one. During the Pandemic I was treating my patients virtually so was sitting at the desk for hours and that was fine initially but after couple weeks I started getting pain in my mid back. Initially as any patient would do, I too neglected the pain and thought it will go away on its own, but it did not. Eventually I decided to act on it. I started practicing thoracic extension exercises using foam roller which helped a lot and pain subsided. Pain does come back if I sit for prolong period with or without use of computer but as soon as I do thoracic extension exercise for a day or two it disappears.
Now the question is, Is every mid back pain which comes with prolong sitting or any type of pain is postural pain, the answer is “NO”
With Low back pain or mid back pain which increases with prolong sitting most of the time they are not postural in nature.
How to identify postural pain vs others:
- Postural pain always starts due to prolong posture which can varies from thirty minutes to hours.
- Pain decreases or disappears as soon as you change the posture
- They usually do not linger
- Pain does not increase or decrease with any other movements or activities.
How to deal with postural pain:
Most of the time just changing posture frequently works but sometimes with changing postural requires extra intervention like in my case it was thoracic extension exercises.
What can you do if your job requires many hours of sitting or any other prolong posture like standing?
First thing what you should do is change posture frequently at least every hour, if you are sitting for prolong period, stand up and do some stretching exercises for a minute, go for water break, walk for a minute or two. Second important thing I can suggest you is proper ergonomics of your desk and chair always use some lumbar support or lumbar roll to decrease stress on your back. And if doing this does not help see some physiotherapist in your area.
Please download free pdf here to learn about proper office ergonomics:
How to use lumbar roll: