Are You in a Slump? - FIT Human Performance

Are You in a Slump?


August 18, 2013

SlumpSitting for long hours at your compute can lead to upper back pain and pain between your shoulders.  Most of the time the pain will go away on it’s own.  However, if you are sitting for long periods without adequate breaks throughout the day, and doing this day in and day out, the upper back pain can become chronic and severe.

Some of us tall people (stop grinning … I know who you are), are particularly vulnerable to upper back pain from frequent slumping over a desk.  Most workstations and chairs are designed for smaller people which forces tall people into a more flexed (slumped over) position.  People that have poor posture, such as Forward Head Posture (the clinical term is kyphosis), will develop symptoms faster from slumping than someone with good posture.   You just sat up in your chair didn’t you?  Good!

If you find yourself in a slump, here is what I suggest;

1.  Take a break!  Get up from that desk pilot job for a minute to stretch.  Stand up, and reach for the sky!  Elongate your spine, cross your arms and hug yourself really hard for about 10 seconds and stay like that and sit back down into your chair and push those elbows between your knees.  Now when you sit back up to attack that computer, your spine is happy it had a break from the SLUMP!

2.   The more physically fit you are the better you are able to resist the negative forces of sitting for long periods.  Visit me at F.I.T.  more often to build up a stronger core and do some stretching.

3.   Hydrate your body.  Drink plenty of good clean water to keep the spinal discs hydrated.  Soda Pop and coffee are diuretics and actually work against your hydration goal.  Drink up, (1/2 your body weight in oz. per day.)

5.    Icing the upper back is a nice relief after long hours of gravitational pulls in a chair.  Perhaps look into a more supportive chair or proper ergonomic set-up.

6.    Rest.  Cervical pillows are helpful too as the pillow is designed to support the neck and allow the neck muscles to rest and recover from a hard days work. Soft pillows are out.

*For a spine that has had prolonged abuse a specialist may need to be consulted for x-rays, adjustments, and progressive therapy.

Upper back pain can be a pain in the neck, but it does not mean you have continue to deal with it indefinitely.  For most of us the skull weighs 11 pounds (approximately) and that is a lot to hold up and can pull you into a slump.  Use your that big brain and support your head and neck, sit up and take care of yourself!

In good health


Keep your head up and don’t let anything get to you. Always keep good posture. 

– Dante Bichette Jr.