The Pain & Injury Doctor ONLINE Newsletter
Here is your latest pain relief tip. If it doesn’t apply to you, still take note because life is full of surprises. If you know someone who is dealing with this type of pain, please forward this email to that person– thanks!
If You Have Low Back Pain and Sit Often, Invest in These
If you are a long time reader of my blog Pain & Injury Doctor Online, you know that one of the things I frequently recommend for maintaining a healthy back is standing over sitting when possible and staying moderately active, consistently. In other words, do whatever you can to avoid being sedentary.
Your body’s musculoskeletal system– muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and joints– require MOVEMENT to work properly. Your musculoskeletal system is responsible for carrying you to wherever you want to go and enabling you to physically interact with your environment. If you are lax in caring for it; if you take it for granted and something breaks down that restricts your mobility (your freedom), you will quickly realize how important musculoskeletal health is to you.
Recommended Products Covered in Today’s Issue:
When you are relatively motionless, which is typically the case when sitting, your muscles undergo degradation. Over time, they lose tone (soften), atrophy (shrink) and become less responsive (slower reflexes/ response to nerve commands). This is why inactive people tend to get injured easily from doing simple things like bending at the waist.
Secondly, your joints don’t get lubricated properly. Movement in multiple planes is needed in order to “bathe” a joint’s internal, contacting surfaces with synovial fluid, the “motor oil” of joints. When this doesn’t happen, some areas of the cartilage “dry” and develop cracks and tears.
Third, when you are still the forces of gravity concentrate on just one point. In other words, the forces don’t get distributed throughout the weight-bearing joint surfaces. Spinal movement, on the other hand– bending sideways, at angles, forward and backwards, rotation — ensures that those forces are spread out evenly within the many spinal joint surfaces.
If you have lower back pain, I wrote an article about the five best strategies to relieve typical low back pain. Since this blog is about preventive and self-care, I left out the usual medical interventions (surgery, pain meds, and so on– there are other sites for this). Those five tips are: Lose weight (if applicable), stand more, do functional exercises, do back extensions and get periodic spinal adjustments.
Today, we’ll focus on the standing more part. Do you find yourself sitting at a desk for long hours; driving in traffic long hours; and/or sitting on your couch watching TV?
If so, you are setting yourself up for future back problems, and if you already have back pain you are making it worse.
Take a look at this spinal model that shows the action of the spine when sitting vs. standing:
Your Lumbar Spine When Standing:
…vs. Your Lumbar Spine When Sitting
Basically, the human body is anatomically built to be in the bi-pedal, standing position. This forces the lumbar spine to arc in the protective position– the lordotic curve. Sitting for extended periods (more than 30 minutes straight) puts your low back in jeopardy.
If you’re thinking, “well that’s too bad, I have to sit at my desk to work,” then here’s a solution: invest in the VariDesk™ adjustable standing desk. Place the VariDesk on your traditional desk, and raise it with the press of a finger to shift to standing desk mode.
You don’t have to stand all day (who can, anyways?); the idea is to stand periodically throughout your day, and the VariDesk makes it simple to do.
For example, shift to standing desk mode every hour on the hour for 20 minutes, then shift back to sit down mode for 40 minutes. Stand up for a duration you are comfortable with, but make it a goal to use it at least 1/3 of your work hours in the standing position. You can work up to it; no rush. If you use the VariDesk standing for one hour a day total, you already have a victory. And, your back will feel a lot better the more you use it.
VARIDESK™ Pro Plus 36 Standing Desk
-Designed to accommodate those with dual-monitor setups or larger workspace needs.
-Two-tier design gives you an upper display surface for your monitor, and a spacious lower keyboard and mouse deck.
– Height-adjustable to 11 different positions for ergonomic comfort. Remains sturdy and stable even when fully extended.
-Uses VARIDESK’s patented spring-loaded lifting mechanism to easily lift up to 35 lbs. in 3 seconds, allowing you to stand up and sit down without breaking your concentration.
-Comes fully assembled right out of the box – no assembly, installation, or tools required.
The second investment I advise you to consider is the Moller Back Support™ for your car seat or office chair.
Developed by a team of leading Orthopedic Surgeons at the University of Copenhagen, the Moller Back Support™ has been tested at leading medical facilities including Stanford University, U.C. Medical Center in San Francisco, UCLA and the METS Clinic.
When I had a chiropractic office in downtown San Francisco’s Financial District, 80% of my patients were “desk jockeys” and many of them came in for low back pain. I researched the best back supports for several years; tried many, and came to the conclusion that the Moller is hands down the best one. Patients agreed.
What separates it from those cheap “back pillow cushions” that most people use is its full spinal length design. When you turn it to the side, you can see that it is curved like the human spine. It has a rigid base covered in high density foam and industrial-grade, breathable fabric, so it is highly resistant to flattening out and is built to last a long time.
Put it on your car seat, your office chair, reading chair or wherever you sit often and you’ll feel the firm support immediately!
Note, Moller was purchased by Integral Orthopedics in 2005, and it is now known as the ObusForme Ergonomic Orthopedic Back Rest. Different name, but same design.
Obus Forme Ultra Forme Ergonomic Orthopedic Back Rest
-Clinically proved to reduce lower back pain by 50%
-Designed for back pain sufferers, including those with chronic an severe back pain
-Encourages proper alignment between pelvis and spine
-Improves circulation and reduces pressure on the back
-Patented “S” shaped frame of backrest helps prevent & relieve back pain
Important: this product comes in short, medium and tall sizes. It is very important to get the correct size; otherwise you will not get proper support.
BOTTOM LINE: If you have low back problems/ symptoms and you sit often, strongly consider getting a stand up desk and a good, solid back support for your chair. Prolonged sitting over the long run is highly detrimental to your back, as the immobility weakens joints and muscles.
If you’re serious about protecting your low back, consider getting these two products. This is a perfect example of a cheap investment that can save you from the cost and trouble of dealing with future back pain. ~Dr. Perez
For more detailed, step-by-step guidance on permanently resolving chronic muscle and joint pain, visit
The information contained in this email and on www.PainandInjuryDoctor.com is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as a medical directive. It is provided as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dan Perez, D.C. Every person is unique, and individual cases of pain are therefore unique. Dr. Perez encourages readers of PainandInjuryDoctor.com to use available sources of information to help them make a more educated and informed decision regarding their health, in partnership with one or more qualified health care professionals.
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