Is Your Desk Job Hurting You? What Is Spinal Stenosis?

By November 7, 2019 No Comments

Is Your Desk Job Hurting You?

When you think of a desk job, you don’t think of health hazards. These are often thought of when describing jobs like firefighting, construction, or even being a chef. Manual labour is synonymous with health risks at some point, but so can your desk job. 

The Risks

Considering a desk job requires several hours of sitting a day, this can be as hazardous to your health as smoking – think about the tight joints, weak muscles, lower back strain, and the increased risk of disease.

You’d think that working out a few times a week would circumvent this, but the truth is it just isn’t enough. Working out is important, but getting up and moving throughout the day is just as important:

  • Always use the stairs
  • Get a standing desk if your workplace can accommodate this
  • Take a 2 minute break to get up and walk around every 30 minutes
  • Park at the furthest end of the parking lot or take transit

The majority of your problems will be a result of poor posture. Slouching causes your muscles to work harder, and can create sore and stiff muscles. Poor posture leads to circulatory issues, poor digestion, and stress on your spine. This stress causes headaches, back pain, and neck strain. 

So what can you do?

All chairs are not created the same. Choose a desk chair that provides lumbar support and will keep your hips, knees and elbows at 90 degree angles. An adjustable chair should do the trick. Crossing your legs is a big no-no, but using a footstool to take the pressure off of your lower back will make a world of difference.

Create a workstation that is perfect for you. If you work at a computer, the bottom edge of the screen should be level with your eyes, it should be directly in front of you, and should be around 30 inches from your face.

Maintain balance. If you carry bags, ensure they are not too heavy, and that you are distributing their weight evenly if possible. Switch shoulders often, and keep in mind that cross body bags are best for remaining hands free and better weight distribution. If you have very heavy items, a rolling bag is the best solution.

Your Posture is in Your Hands

Maintaining good postural habits while working will help to prevent injuries and pain over time. Ask us how we can help you identify where changes need to be made, offer suggestions to make desk life easier, and help monitor your progress.

The goal here is to eliminate the risk of compromising your musculoskeletal health that can result in headaches, neck aches, shoulder strain, and lower back pain. Your desk job doesn’t have to be a source of discomfort if you are prepared and armed with knowledge and the motivation to remain healthy!

 

Can Chiropractic Help with Spinal Stenosis?

I’m sure you’re aware of how delicate the spinal cord is. Your nerves and entire bodily functions are communicated through your spinal cord, so I’m sure you can imagine how detrimental to your health it would be to have it irritated or even compressed. 

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal cord canal. Over time, this condition compresses the spinal nerves that lead to your back, and can cause leg pain, leg cramps, muscle spasms, leg weakness, numbness and tingling.

Your spinal column is made up of vertebrae (bones) that come together to house and protect your spinal nerve roots, and your spinal cord.  Your entire nervous system relies on your spinal cord, with you spinal nerve roots being the pathway in which your spinal cord communicates with the rest of your body.

The purpose of your nervous system is to connect your brain, spinal cord, along with all of your nerves so they can all work together to transmit messages to your organs, cells, tissue, and all of your other systems required to work in synchronicity. 

Causes

The most common cause of spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis generally manifests as we age, and can onset earlier as a result of repetitive injuries or physical stress. Inactivity can also cause osteoarthritis.

Over time, bone spurs will develop which contribute to the narrowing of the canal. This narrowing creates the pressure that is responsible for spinal stenosis.

Other causes are:

  • Tumours or cysts
  • Poor posture
  • Disc herniation
  • Spine injury
  • Surgery
  • Thickened ligaments

Symptoms

Spinal stenosis most commonly develops in the lower back. Individuals experiencing this will most commonly have the following symptoms:

  • Loss of sexual function
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in the legs or feet
  • Leg cramps
  • Abnormal bladder and bowel function
  • Pain when walking
  • Will often find relief when sitting or leaning forward

Less common is spinal stenosis in the neck, but this can be more dangerous. These individuals can experience all of the symptoms listed above, along with radiating pain, weakness or numbness, and tingling of the arms and hands. 

Can Chiropractic Help?

Chiropractic care is key in preserving your overall health, but matters of the spine are a our specialty. We are qualified to diagnose and treat spinal stenosis, and may be able to relieve your pain. But overall, the hope is that the treatments help to ensure your spinal cord and nervous system are adequately transmitting messages to your body so there is no impairment.

After your diagnosis, and creation of a care plan, the goal is to help restore your range of motion while creating enough space for your nervous system to transmit messages. Although we may not be able to make the spinal stenosis go away, we will be able to offer some relief and some hope.

If you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, contact us today for an assessment to discuss the possibility of treatment, and what we can will be able to alleviate in the way of symptoms.

 

3 Reasons People See a Chiropractor

Why would I need to see a Chiropractor? There are hundreds of reasons people make Chiropractic care a staple in their lives, and here are some very common overall reasons they seek Chiropractic care:

Better Sleep

Not getting enough sleep will lead to various health issues, from headaches to body aches, to illness – sleep is how your body rejuvenates and heals itself. 

Pain, stress, and body aches are often what leads to an inability to sleep well. Something as simple as proper spinal alignment will decrease pain leading to improved sleep over time, ultimately leading to better health and improved pain relief.

Stress Relief

Although emotional stress isn’t something we specialize in, physical stress – which is sometimes the result of emotional stress – is what we CAN help you with. If you think about it, stress will cause spinal misalignment through slouching, tense shoulders, or being sedentary.

When the spine is misaligned, the entire body can be affected. With the help of a Chiropractor, you can work on the physical aspects of stress, allowing your body to relax while you destress your mind. 

Improved Posture

Posture will affect the delicate tissue in your neck, your abdomen, the way you walk, and the way you sleep.

Chiropractic care will help to realign your neck and spine to improve your posture. You will stand taller, feel more confident, and present yourself to the world with a more confident and pain free life. In addition, there are simple exercises that will help to strengthen those muscles, making correct posture more attainable. 

The Choice is Yours

Whatever the reason, we are here to take an overall snapshot of your life and your health challenges. Together, you will be able to begin to live a different life – one that is pain free, with fewer stressors.

Call us today for an assessment – there are so many areas we can help you improve your overall health.