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Love Your Spine: A Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Back

Updated: Mar 1

February 2024

Why Do People Get Back Pain?


There are many reasons why people can suffer from back pain. There could have been one aggravating event, or more often than not, a combination of the following:

  • Having a sedentary lifestyle (ie. desk jobs, sitting for prolonged periods)

  • Physical jobs (ie. heavy lifting, working in awkward positions)

  • Long periods of standing (ie. nurses, customer service, restaurant work)

  • Improper movement habits

  • Doing a movement that your body is not equipped to handle

  • Daily stressors - your body can hold stress and tension in your muscles

When your body isn’t moving optimally, it can put additional stress on your spine and surrounding musculature, which can lead to pain and discomfort.

What Is The Ideal Posture?


Some people say that good posture is sitting with your back straight and shoulders back. How long can you actually sit like that before getting tired? The best posture is changing positions as much and as often as possible. Ideally, you should be changing positions every 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Here are some ways to change your position during your workday:

  1. Walk around while taking a call

  2. Put your feet up for morning tasks

  3. Sit at a counter in the afternoon

  4. Set a timer for 1 hour to get up and move

  5. Use a small glass of water/coffee so that you need to refill it more often

  6. Use a sit-to-stand desk

Your back will thank you in the long run!

Workstation Tips And Tricks

  1. Keep your feet flat on the ground.

  2. Have your knees bent to a 90-degree angle.

  3. Have an arch in your lower back - use a small pillow if your desk chair does not have a lumbar support built in.

  4. Keep your arms by your side and elbows at 90-degrees. Use armrests and a wrist cushion if it is comfortable for you.

  5. Pull your keyboard and mouse closer to you so you don’t need to reach for them.

  6. Pull your chair in so you can use your back support instead of leaning forward.

  7. If using more than one monitor, place the monitor you use the most directly in front of you.

  8. If using a laptop, consider propping it up on some books or using a stand so that the top of the screen is at your eye level. You will also need an external keyboard.

4 Simple At-Home Exercises

Here are some exercises that you can try at home, with no equipment needed. These exercises are for education only. You should be assessed by a healthcare professional before attempting them. 

Scapular Squeeze: 

  • Sit up straight with hands by your side.

  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together like you were holding a pen between your shoulder blades.

  • Hold that position for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.

  • It’s best to do this 2x/day.

Traps Stretch:

  • Sit up straight with hands by your side.

  • Hold your chair with one hand and place your other hand to the opposite side of your head. 

  • Pull your head towards your shoulder. 

  • You should feel a stretch on the side of your neck.

  • If you want to stretch the back of your neck, turn your head towards your armpit. 

  • Hold that position for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.

  • It’s best to do this 2x/day.

Seated Mid-Back Rotation: 

  • Sit up straight in a chair.

  • Rotate your body to one side. 

  • Use the chair to increase the twist.

  • Gently twist until you feel a bit of pressure in your back.

  • Make sure to take deep breaths.

  • Avoid twisting too far. You should not be in pain during the exercise.

  • Hold that position for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.

  • It’s best to do this 2x/day.

Figure 4 Stretch:

  • Sitting up tall in a chair. 

  • Cross one leg over the other (seen in the image).

  • Gently press on your knee while leaning forward. Make sure to keep your back straight and chest up as you are leaning forward. Try to stick out your bum and keep your chest up.

  • Don’t forget to breathe!

  • Hold that position for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.

  • It’s best to do this 2x/day.

What Can I Do If I Get Back Pain?


Don’t wait! See a professional that can help. Chiropractors, physiotherapists, and massage therapists can assess your back pain to decipher the root cause of your pain. Psychotherapists can help with your mental health to identify new or old stressors that may be impacting your wellbeing. 

Maintaining a balance between physical activity, proper ergonomics, and seeking help from a professional can contribute to a healthier and pain-free life. 

Give us a call at (416) 291 0070 or book online today.


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