From Dr. Natalie Meiri’s Clinical Pearl Stories:
Low Back and Hip Pain From Prolonged Sitting and the Relief of Chiropractic Care
Author: Natalie Meiri, D.C. Posted: 11/27/20
This was a 39 year old male patient with a chief complaint of low back pain. To be HIPAA compliant, I will call him Justin instead of his real name. Justin had an information technology job for over 10 years so always sat in front of a computer. While sitting at a computer all day can obviously cause various neuromusculoskeletal problems, he felt it even more after COVID-19 started. This was due to having to work at home. At the office he took regular breaks throughout the day with different tasks. However, at home every meeting was via the internet which kept him continuously sitting. He tried taking some over the counter NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), but continued to have low back pain so he came to see me.
On his intake he indicated pain in his lumbar (low back) spine without any referral into his legs. Upon examination, there was no pain with lumbar range of motion (measurement of the amount of movement around a specific joint or body part) except with flexion (to bend forward). This was almost impossible due to pain. However, all his left hip ranges of motion reproduced pain in his low back. Above all, an orthopedic test for the left hip also reproduced the same pain in his low back. It was also apparent that his problem was also in his left hip with his chiropractic alignment assessment. Findings on his x-rays were mild degenerative joint disease/osteoarthritis (wear and tear type arthritis) of both his low back and hips.
Low Back and Hip Pain From Prolonged Sitting and the Relief of Chiropractic Care: Justin’s Treatment
Justin’s chiropractic treatment consisted of chiropractic manipulation/ adjustments of the lumbar spine, left hip and associated regions. Associated regions that were adjusted were his cervical (neck) and thoracic (mid back) spine which were misaligned (subluxations or intersegmental dysfunctions) due to the condition he had. The realignment of the neck and mid back was helpful for his low back/hip condition because the upper half of the body can contribute strongly to the musculoskeletal problems in the lower half of the body and vice versa. Additionally, soft tissue therapy (myofascial release, pressure point, and various post isometric relaxation to patient tolerance) and modalities (cold/heat therapy and electric muscle stimulation) were administered. Finally, he was given therapeutic exercises to continue his treatment at home.
Low Back and Hip Pain From Prolonged Sitting and the Relief of Chiropractic Care: Ergonomics and Posture
To avoid repetitive injury again, recommendations were made on the importance of good posture and ergonomics at his home work station. Firstly, Justin’s undesirable posture was corrected such as his “head forward” posture at his desk. Justin’s head, neck, and/or shoulders were bent forward excessively when working at his computer, placing the upper half of the body in a round-shouldered, slumped position. When he worked at his desk, it was important to place the computer monitor at eye level.
Secondly, his chair and desk were a problem. The chair needed an addition of a lumbar pillow or roll to maintain the normal lumbar lordosis (curve). The lack of an armrest for adequate elbow support created a drag on his shoulders. And the low desk top increased flexion (bending) of his spine. He got a different chair with armrests and also elevated his desk which created more adequate knee room. Justin’s feet now rested solidly on the floor or on some type of footrest and not dangling. While flexibility and comfort were important, his seating provided support of the normal spinal curves. In particular, the cervical and lumbar lordosis were supported with a minimum of muscular energy on his part.
Thirdly, he was to arrange his work station to be able to change positions as needed for specific tasks and as needed to provide adequate circulation and nutrition to his body structures. Twisting movements were to be avoided especially when leaning forward. A headset was beneficial since he spent a significant amount of time talking or listening on the telephone. Lastly, frequent breaks were recommended to stand momentarily, walk a few feet, or change the activity.
Justin recovered quickly and made the recommended necessary ergonomic corrections. Consequently, he didn’t re-injure himself at his home work station.
At Meiri Chiropractic in North Palm Beach, we offer low back and hip pain relief. We are a low back and hip pain chiropractor located in West Palm Beach, but also serve Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Juno Beach, and North Palm Beach. We also examine, diagnose and treat many other conditions, injuries and ailments . Call us in West Palm Beach today to learn about low back and hip pain from prolonged sitting and the relief of chiropractic care or to make an appointment.
5601 Corporate Way, Ste 102
West Palm Beach, FL 33407