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  • Desk Jockeys



    For those of you who spend long times sat at computer, like I do for both work and fun, do you find yourself having neck/shoulder/back pain issues?


    I've suffered from this for a long time now and nothing I have really tried has helped - outside of lifting weights (which helps immensely) but I only lift 3x a week and I find on the days I don't lift I suffer from pretty servere muscle ache especially in the trapezius area.


    I've tried various forms of stretching and just getting up now and again when I've been sat down for too long. I also try to watch my posture but often find myself hunched over as its a real effort to sit up straight for long periods. Once it flairs up it really does effect me in a huge way to the point where I can hardly think at times as the pain runs up the back of my neck and gives me headaches. I've been to my doctor they just gave me a bunch of pills which did help some, but after a week they seemed to stop having an effect, Id rather not have to rely on those anyways. I think it may also be partly stress related (in times of stress i seem to tense my shoulders.)


    Any advice appreciated.


  • #2
    1



    I work a desk job, only about 20 hours per week or so. I don't have any pain so to speak, but I just feel tired often after work from sitting all day. I get up and walk around a lot, or walk somewhere for lunch and it seems to alleviate any stiffness I get from sitting. I hunch over when I sit too, which obviously is not a good thing.


    I do find that sitting a long time, often depsite the comfort level of the chair, makes my lower back hurt a little bit. It's more stiffness related just from not moving.

    Check out my blog!

    http://easternstrength.blogspot.com/

    I like to throw, squat and pull heavy things for fun.

    We're designed to be hunters and we're in a society of shopping. There's nothing to kill anymore, there's nothing to fight, nothing to overcome, nothing to explore. In that societal emasculation this everyman is created. ~David Fincher, director of Fight Club, interview with Gavin Smith, "Inside Out," Film Comment, Sep/Oct 1999

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    • #3
      1



      I constantly am reminding myself to sit up straight in my chair at work...not using the backrest. I sit at a desk 40+ hrs a week & try to stay off the PC once I get home.


      Weight lifting helps me as well.


      I have a resistance band at my desk that I remind myself to use on my shoulders/upper body at least every couple of hrs. And now that the sun is out, walking helps as the sun's on my back/shoulders and feels really great.

      Even if you fall flat on your face, at least you're moving forward!

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      • #4
        1



        I have a desk job where I sit for hours at a time and my back used to be all kinds of messed up. It got a bit better with weightlifting, but then I switched to using just a sledgehammer and my back is in great shape now.


        15 minutes in the morning, 15 at night just swinging the thing around (you don't have to hit anything with it) is good for both stretching and building muscles all over your body, but particularly in the back and core.

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        • #5
          1



          That's a thought, Timothy. I need a sledgehammer/ax anyway for some logs I picked up for the fireplace.


          Will be looking for one next payday...

          Even if you fall flat on your face, at least you're moving forward!

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          • #6
            1



            I am at a desk most of the day. I have a 200 mile round trip commute. All I sit most of the day. Every morning I hold downward facing dog yoga movement for 90 seconds (while I wait for the shower to warm up). Stretches the calves and lower back. No back pain. I stop doing this for a few days. Pain returns.


            As for neck/shoulder pain, do you use a monitor riser? Make sure when you sit up, your eyes are level with the middle of the monitor. Make sure you do not have to raise your shoulders to use your keyboard.

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            • #7
              1



              If your workplace has a good ergonomics program, you can opt for a standing desk. I made the switch last year and it helped to alleviate fatigue, tight hamstrings and lower back issues caused by sitting.

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              • #8
                1



                I commute 1 1/2 hrs (each way) to get to school, Im in classes all day, and then I study at home at my desk.


                At work, I have to remind myself not to sit hunched forward. At home, I sit on an exercise which seems to keep me from 'slouching'.

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                • #9
                  1



                  I've also dealt with some back problems from sitting at a desk 40+ hours a week.

                  I found them virtually non-existent when I was lifting.

                  My regime usually involved: Deadlifts, Squats, Lunges, 'Sledgehammers' (with dumbbells) and some bridges.

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                  • #10
                    1



                    I workout at lunch which helps great.


                    I also do a good stretch after each workout.


                    I also do yoga on most sundays which helps too.


                    That's all you can really do.

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                    • #11
                      1



                      Try a new pillow. I had <u>really</u> bad neck pain off and on for about a year. I realized my pillow was too big. I got a synthetic down pillow (because real down runs around $100) and I haven&#39;t had any neck pain since!

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                      • #12
                        1



                        A few minutes of massage helps me. Just take five minutes away from the computer and work shoulders, neck and back. (What I can reach anyway.) The other thing that helps is some yoga.

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                        • #13
                          1



                          Weight training: Try doing dynamic exercises, like the sledgehammer work that was mentioned, or kettlebells are the best for this. Also check out some of the stuff (DVDs, Books) at the Dragon Door web site, they have lots of good exercises that target specific areas for strength and mobility that can really help towards being injury and pain-free.


                          Breathing: Learn "yoga breathing", or how to breath from your diaphragm. Many people breath with their shoulder muscles: breathing is a very low weight exercise, but if you&#39;re doing it 24/7 your shoulder muscles never get a chance to relax.


                          Ergonomics: Sit less. Sit on an exercise ball part of the day. Desk height needs to be low enough that your shoulder muscles aren&#39;t working to keep the arms elevated - I was having supraspinitus problems in my shoulder, and lowering my desk really helped. Any position that has even a small biomechanical disadvantage can really add up if done for 8-10 hours a day. Learn to "reset" your posture by standing with your back to a wall: your head, shoulders and butt should all touch. Learn to carry that position normally.


                          Visit the web site, "Mark&#39;s Daily Apple": There is a lot of good information on this site. Today&#39;s posting on "Esther Gokhale’s 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back" was really interesting - I think there is still more I can learn about how to have better posture.

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                          • #14
                            1



                            Yoga really helps me. Keeps my hip flexors stretched out, and keeps my shoulders and back from contracting into a forward slump, plus keeps me strong in general. When I really have my yoga going on, I actually find it hard to sit slumped, it feels bad.

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                            • #15
                              1



                              I work a desk job and had the same issues. Last Oct I started using an exercise ball and wound up using it all day long and now I can&#39;t sit in a chair anymore. With the exercise ball you are forced to use proper posture. Also, if I sit the wrong way I get fatigued really quick and make an adjustment. The ball offers other things like really great streches during the day, I will grab my desk and roll the ball backwards and it winds up under my knees, my lower back loves this.

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