Back Pain in the Workplace

We recently had the opportunity to ask Dr. Patrick Labelle some questions about the real reasons so many suffer from back pain while working in an office. While it seems that a laborious job would likely cause these symptoms, it may be more of how you do your job than what you do for a work.

Patrick Labelle

Q What are some of the reasons people working desk jobs get back pain?

A The obvious reason people working desk jobs get back pain is because of
poor posture. But even with perfect posture if you sit for too long, without moving, you’ll get back pain. Movement helps bring nutrients to your joints.

Q What are some things a person working in a desk job can do to prevent back pain?

1. Divide your day into 30 minute chucks when stuck at your desk. Work for 25 minutes, then get up and move for 5 minutes. Take a bathroom break, walk to the printer or water cooler, or just stand up and stretch.

2. Set up your workspace properly.  There are some good tips at the National Institutes for Health (NIH) or have your workspace looked at by an occupational therapist.

3. Have your eyesight checked regularly and wear your glasses or
contacts – slouching and squinting is bad for your back – and it makes you
look funny.

4. Do some type of exercise every day, even if it’s just a 15 minute
walk. The more sedentary your job is, the more movement you need to fit into your off-hours.

Q Can you give me an example of one thing that is supposed to
be good for your back while working at a desk job, but can
actually cause problems?

A Standing desks have become very popular. But remember that we need
movement for healthy joints. Standing in one place is not much better than
sitting in one place if you don’t take advantage of the suggestions above.

Q What is a common misconception people have about visiting a

A The most common misconception is that chiropractors only treat the spine. Most chiropractors treat the every muscle and joint in the body. We have to; spine pain can be the result of things like tight hips or shoulders, old ankle injuries, and many other problems. If we don’t fix those problems your spine pain keeps coming back.

Q What is one thing someone must consider before treating
themselves for back pain?

A Mild, dull, achy pain that happens rarely can treat safely stretching,
massage, and mild activity. Frequent, or sharp pain or pain that is
happening more frequently, lasting longer before going away, or that
bothers you at night or when you wake up should be examined promptly. The longer your back pain is present before you begin treatment, the more
treatments you will need on average. You also run a higher risk that your
back pain won’t be fixed conservatively – don’t head down the road to
spinal surgery.

For more information on Dr. Patrick Labelle or BioMechanics – Sports Rehabilitation and Chiropractic go to

Tavis Bucklin

Tavis Bucklin is a #1 Best-selling author, and contributing iReporter for CNN covering leaders in Business, Health, and Personal Development.Tavis has been published in ABC, CNN, NBC, FOX and Forbes Magazine among other outlets.