At Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic, Dr. Trujillo sees patients with chronic back pain pretty much every day. It’s estimated that four out of five people will have some period of serious back pain in their lives. Back pain is the third most common reason for visits to the doctor, behind only skin disorders and osteoarthritis/joint disorders.
Often, a culprit behind that aching back is the chair you’re sitting in all the livelong day. Yes, our office chairs can be instruments of torture for our poor backs. They may look hip and svelte, but they are not beloved by the muscles, discs, nerves, and vertebrae that support our bodies.
Plus, now we all have the added weirdness of working from home, thanks to this dumb virus that isn’t going anywhere fast. Many people have a decent office chair at their real office, but now that office is a kitchen table or a study or who knows where. And the chair used isn’t usually a friend of your back.
So, in this month’s two Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic blogs, let’s delve into what to look for in your office chair. Do your back a favor and read on.
It should be height adjustable
The height should be adjustable to you. The way to gauge the proper height is to sit with your feet flat on the floor. Your thighs should be horizontal without having to make any unnatural adjustments.
Look for an adjustable backrest
Whether the backrest is attached to the seat or not, it should be able to be adjusted. There’s nothing worse than an office chair that tilts backwards with the slightest weight. The adjustment needs to lock out. If the backrest is not a part of the seat, it should be able to be adjusted up or down to fit your dimensions.
Look for lumbar support
Many poor office chairs feature straight backrests. That may look good from a design standpoint, but that doesn’t look like the line of your back. Our natural spine position is slightly arched inward in the lower spine, the lumbar area. Any office chair worth its padding has good lumbar support. Sure, you could simply use a separate pillow from the couch or elsewhere and place it on the bottom of the backrest to support your lower back, but you shouldn’t have to do that. The chair needs to have an area at the base of the backrest that comes forward to support your lower back. Otherwise, you’ll slouch and that’s no good for your back.
OK, so that’s a start. Three important characteristics to look for when buying or negotiating for your next office chair. In September’s second blog, we’ll add another five things to look for to round out your office chair search criteria.
Until then, if your current office chair hasn’t been so kind to your back, call Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic at (855) 768-4968 and let’s have Dr. Trujillo see how we can help.