Archive | 2:41 pm

Back in Physical Therapy

11 Jan

After almost a year and a half hiatus, I’m back in physical therapy. Before, I was going for my IT band. Now, I’m going for my back.

This is one of those things that make me starkly aware that:

1. I’m getting older

2. I’m not invincible

3. My body will break if I treat it like crap

So sad. My mom often reminded me to stand up straight when I was younger. I brushed her off, saying that standing up straight made me look weird. That’s also what Quasimodo said, and look where it got him.

Since my ambitions are not to be a hunchback, I went to see a physical therapist at Rocky Mountain Spine & Sport (same chain I went to before, different location).

It’s snowing again in Denver!

The therapist was really nice and relaxed. I explained my symptoms. He checked the alignment/balance of my hips, spine, shoulders and legs and then said that my back most likely hurts because of sitting all day at work. Apparently, pain in the neck and lower back is pretty common in desk jockeys like me. In addition, I have a muscle imbalance in my lower back – one side is tighter than the other, which pulls on my spine.

So he proposed realigning my back this morning to alleviate the current pain. Then he’ll do Trigger Point Dry Needling next time I come in (which will be this Friday) to help release the tight muscles. I’m not going to lie – I’m a little freaked out by the idea of pain and needles. But I figure I’m too young to have chronic back pain and I’ve noticed it worsening over the past couple of months so I should probably just bite the $70-a-visit bullet.

He cracked my back and neck this morning and it was loud. It’s amazing the sound bones make. My neck and lower back feel a ton better but my whole back still doesn’t feel 100%. Is it supposed to? I’ve never had my back professionally cracked before so I don’t know!

When I got to work, I made some adjustments to my workstation to be more in line with this:

Instead of this:

Oh, slouching down in my chair with my legs propped up on my CPU isn’t considered good posture?

But seriously, I have done every single one of these.

I put a couple of paper organizer trays underneath my monitor to raise it up, moved it about 8 inches closer to my chair, raised my seat a couple of inches, and have been trying to remember to sit with my legs uncrossed. This has proven to be the hardest change. I sit with my legs crossed almost always, and when they’re not crossed, they’re either propped up, cross-legged, or I’m sitting on one of them. Sitting with both feet flat on the floor feels like standing in front of people with your arms at your side, doing nothing – awkward. It’s feels unnatural.

But alas, every source on the interwebs confirms that indeed, this is the correct posture for sitting at a desk. (Quasimodos excused.)

Do you have good posture? What’s your favorite way to sit?