As society increasingly relies on computers, smartphones, and other forms of technology, both in the workplace and at home, more people are sitting than ever. According to surveys, the average American now sits for approximately 10 hours per day. And while sitting might seem harmless, the truth is that it's wreaking havoc on our health. 

Researchers link excessive sitting to the development of chronic, potentially life-threatening health conditions like hypertension, high blood sugar, obesity, and high cholesterol — but that's not all. Too much sitting can also contribute to chronic aches, pains, and physical dysfunction, making it uncomfortable to get up and move. 

If you or a loved one sits excessively, it's important to understand the negative repercussions of failing to move your body according to its design. Below, the experts at Bomberg Chiropractic explain three common consequences of too much sitting and how routine chiropractic care can help. 

Chronic Back Pain

When you sit, your lumbar spine is in an unnatural position. While short periods of sitting don't tend to cause problems, sitting for hours each day puts excessive stress on the lower portion of your spine and the muscles in your lower back.

If, like most people, you sit with poor posture, there's a high probability you'll stretch your spinal ligaments beyond their healthy limits. 

There's also a high likelihood that you'll experience excessive pressure on your spinal discs, which can result in disc bulges, radiating nerve pain, and chronic back pain. 

Chronic Back Pain

Back Pain Solutions

A chiropractor can help alleviate these issues through manual adjustments, targeted massage, TENS therapy, and various other complementary chiropractic therapies. 

While scheduling ongoing chiropractic care is a great step toward successfully alleviating chronic back pain and dysfunction, lifestyle changes are also important. How you conduct yourself outside of your chiropractor's office plays a central role in maintaining a healthy spine. 

Be sure to follow these tips to keep your back pain at bay:

  • If you have a desk job that keeps you seated, consider getting a standing desk. You can then alternate between periods of sitting and standing throughout your workday.
  • If you must sit for most of the day, be sure to take frequent breaks to move around. Do your best to get up and walk around or stretch at 30- to 60-minute intervals.
  • One of the best ways to maintain healthy posture while sitting is to use an ergonomic chair. You can also insert lumber support into a standard chair to provide extra support for your lower spine. If you drive a lot for work, consider using a lumbar support in your vehicle. 

Chronic Neck Pain & Shoulder Discomfort

Just as poor sitting posture can create chaos in your lower back, it can also cause chronic pain and dysfunction in your upper back, neck, and shoulders. When you hunch over while you sit (most people unconsciously sit this way), you put the upper portion of your spine in an unnatural position. 

This strains the muscles and connective tissues in your upper back and neck and can also lead to excessive pressure on the thoracic and cervical spine discs. If you maintain this hunched position for long periods each day, your vertebrae can gradually become misaligned. 

Neck Pain

A misaligned upper spine can lead to a variety of irritating, uncomfortable symptoms, including but not limited to:

  • Poor neck and shoulder mobility 
  • Muscle pain and spasms
  • Radiating pain in the shoulders, arms, and hands
  • Areas of significant, painful tension in the upper back and neck, known as trigger points
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms and hands
  • Chronic headaches  

Neck & Shoulder Pain Solutions

A chiropractor can address the above symptoms through gentle, manual chiropractic adjustments and movement-based massage

TENS therapy is also a highly effective chiropractic treatment designed to reduce the severity of chronic neck, upper back, and shoulder pain. Because it gently stimulates nerves throughout the affected area, TENS is designed to override or block pain signals that normally travel to the brain.   

Pelvic Misalignment & Hip Imbalance

Sitting for long periods causes your hip flexors and the muscles on the front side of your pelvis to tighten up and shorten. Over time, these tight muscles gradually pull your pelvis and lumbar spine out of its normal position. 

When your pelvis and lumbar spine tilt anteriorly (toward the front of your body), the muscles in your backside (your gluteal muscles) become weak. 

Pelvic Misalignment

Lower body muscle weakness combined with a misaligned lower spine and pelvis can result in several debilitating issues, including:

  • Unbalanced hips
  • Radiating nerve pain in the legs and feet
  • Numbness and tingling in the legs and feet
  • Sciatica
  • Chronic back pain that can occur while sitting, standing, walking, or even lying down
  • Functional leg length discrepancy (when one leg appears longer than the other)

Pelvic & Hip Pain Solutions

If you struggle with the above symptoms, a chiropractor can help you find relief. Chiropractic adjustments, massage, and stretching will gradually help bring your pelvis and lumbar spine back into normal alignment and keep it there. 

Your chiropractor can also give you at-home exercises and stretches to complete, which will further help your recovery. 

Signs You Need to Get Up & Move Around More

Even if you're not experiencing back, neck, and hip discomfort, there are a few classic signs that you need to get your body moving more.

You Seem to Gain Weight Fast

Because you're staying sedentary, your body's not burning as many calories as you're ingesting, and if you have been slowly putting on weight, it's a big sign you need to adjust. 

To help negate this, take time to get up and move or switch to a standing desk as an alternative during your work day.

Working with the chiropractor can help fix neurological pathways through their adjustments and offer nutritional guidance and advice so you can follow a lifestyle that allows you to be successful with your weight loss goals and stay healthy.

Tiredness Happens Way Before Bedtime

While exercising can make you tired, no movement can be even worse and become a new barrier to overcome. If you're always tired, you might not be giving your body the challenge it needs.

Taking 5 minutes to get up and move around each hour can make a big difference, helping you feel less fatigued during your day. If you have a sedentary lifestyle and you require additional support, consider turning to chiropractors. These healthcare professionals are extensively trained and can provide valuable assistance. 

They utilize proven methods that enhance how your nervous system functions, thereby improving nerve impulse flow and potentially leading to a noticeable increase in your energy levels.

Stiffness Keeps You From Getting Around

Stiffness is another common sign, and it happens because our bodies are not meant to stay still for such long periods. When you're not using your joints and muscles enough, they will start to become weak and stiff, so get up and get moving, even if only for a few minutes every 30-60 minutes.

If mobility is becoming an issue, chiropractic can improve joint function, helping you feel more comfortable getting the necessary exercise and regain flexibility with less pain and better alignment.

Bomberg Chiropractic: Your Twin Cities Source for Knowledgeable, Compassionate Care

If you struggle with aches, pains, or poor mobility caused by excessive sitting, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team at Bomberg Chiropractic. We specialize in a wide variety of chiropractic treatments designed to relieve your pain and restore your mobility and physical functionality. 

We proudly serve residents throughout Plymouth, Minnesota, and the surrounding Twin Cities metro area, and we'd love to welcome you into our care. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, feel free to call our office today at 763-450-1755 or send us a message, and we'll be in touch!