anyone experience upper/lower back pains or even neck pains after a couple hours of studying? it happens to me because my head is always knelt down to look at the book, so my posture is bad no matter how hard i try. i get up every 30 min or so to stretch and walk around but it still comes back. any suggestions on how to subside or even prevent the pain?
Put on your glasses.
two words: spinal surgery.
the show NY - the easy thing is to make sure your workspace is as ergonomic as possible, and don’t do anything that would put undue strain on your neck or back. check out the following website for some good suggestions: http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/ also, your poor posture is a big problem that you should fix. it’s a good idea to get up every 20-30 minutes to walk around – this is something that’s recommended for anyone even without back pain – but if you’re experiencing chronic back pain, it’s probably due to weak core or back muscles as well as bad posture. i’d recommend yoga or pilates to help with that. as far as EMRA32’s suggestion goes, i hope he/she is kidding. surgery on the back is associated with some of the worst clinical outcomes and is something you really don’t want to get unless you have to.
Some people think this is funny, but it’s no joke. My room mate in college was going for premed and had to keep his grades up in a really competitive program, so he studied ALL the time. Like you, he hunched over his desk. One morning he woke up temporarily paralyzed and had to just lay there in bed for about 4 hours before he could move. Why? He pinched a nerve in his back somewhere. Anyway, even if you don’t have something that severe happen to you, there are some serious long-term side effects to sitting too much and having poor posture. Numi makes good points. A few others: - Make sure that your desk is high enough and that you have a good quality chair that is adjusted properly. Most people just assume that chairs are well designed, but most aren’t. Try to find a store that has supportive, ergonomic chairs and shell out the money for one. Make sure your desk isn’t too low as this will exacerbate the problem of having to lean your head down to read. - Rotate your studying to the couch or bed every other hour so that you can lay down on your stomach and read. I personally find this fairly uncomfortable, but I forced myself to do it while studying for the CFA so I didn’t screw up my back. - Exercise and stretch.
Aren’t these problems pretty much solved by going to the gym on a regular basis?
Billy Collins Jr. Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Aren’t these problems pretty much solved by going > to the gym on a regular basis? It should help, but it most likely won’t resolve the issue.
FIAnalyst Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Billy Collins Jr. Wrote: > -------------------------------------------------- > ----- > > Aren’t these problems pretty much solved by > going > > to the gym on a regular basis? > > > It should help, but it most likely won’t resolve > the issue. I have to disagree. A majority of routine backaches are due to extended periods of sitting/ standing improperly where body weight puts pressure where it shouldn’t be. This is because the typical person today, due to lack of activity, lacks the core strength to support their own body weight. Bad posture is a major culprit, but the underlying cause of not being able to “sit up straight” is it not having the strength to hold oneself up correctly. An injury or medical issue is another story, but a little calisthenics and yoga will go a long way in resolving your issue. Kinda like a tall glass of water is equally as effective in relieving a majority of headaches as an aspirin. Working on your arms and chest won’t help, but may actually exacerbate the issue… adding more weight and tightening you into a more hunched over position that pulls you off your center. If you fall into this group I would suggest you start stretching your anterior muscles and working on the little connective muscles and core muscles that build the foundation. When I was a trainer, I was amazed by the ppl who only worked out in the gym on their major muscle groups and ended up injured bc they lacked this foundation. Doing more dynamic strength exercise that uses your own body weight helps prevents this.
Get one of those book stands to put on your desk if you’re studying at home and numi is right about getting up every 30 mins or so; even if it is a minute or two.
For my home office, I have a standing desk (Ikea’s “Jerker” desk, terrible name, good desk) and a drafting chair. This lets me work in a standing position and I think it’s better for alertness and posture. When I get tired, I pull up the drafting chair and can work seated, but it’s not as bad as a typical desk. Of course, on a job, you might not be able to get a standing desk. Donald Rumsfeld is known for using one… this is part of the background behind his comment that “I stand for eight hours a day; why should there be a limit of four hours for possible terrorist detainees.”)
Get to know a chiro. Back adjustments can serve for preventive future problems. Also the gym should serve as preventive action as well.
get a massage? If that doesnt work at least a they happy ending will be worth it… not but seriously why do you have to have bad posture? Try to get a chair with decent back support and you should have no problems studying for hours.
bchadwick Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > For my home office, I have a standing desk (Ikea’s > “Jerker” desk, terrible name, good desk) and a > drafting chair. This lets me work in a standing > position and I think it’s better for alertness and > posture. When I get tired, I pull up the drafting > chair and can work seated, but it’s not as bad as > a typical desk. > > Of course, on a job, you might not be able to get > a standing desk. Donald Rumsfeld is known for > using one… this is part of the background behind > his comment that “I stand for eight hours a day; > why should there be a limit of four hours for > possible terrorist detainees.”) This is a good point. Actually, when I initially herniated a couple of discs in my back and was experiencing some sciatic pain, one of the first things I did (besides going for physical therapy and stuff) was to stand as much as I could. Sitting, especially in a poorly designed workplace, can be one of the worst things you can do for your back because you’re loading a ton of weight on it (i.e. your own body weight + gravity = bad for the low back). Standing by your kitchen counter or other places can definitely help with that. Also, I agree with akanska’s advice about doing exercises that specifically target your core or low back. Doing bench press or bicep curls can have the fastest impact on your physical appearance (assuming you’re trying to look big or whatever) because you’re targeting the major muscle groups, but you definitely risk injury if your core isn’t stable. I used to do weights at the gym four times a week for an hour each, but I’ve since trimmed that down to two sessions a week at 30 minutes. Instead, I’ve picked up swimming, tennis, and yoga – and not only does my back and core feel ten times better, I just feel like I’m in much better overall shape than I’ve ever been (aside from when I played tennis in college). Anyway, those are my personal experiences. If you want to read more about other methods of back care and find out what might work best for you, I recommend checking out www.spine-health.com.
thanks for the input everyone. my posture isnt really bad when im standing. and i have no pain at all when laying down. sitting is also not much of a problem if its at a desktop or dinner table. the issue i was referring to is sitting + having to tilt your head down to see the book. this is what causes the back and neck pain, and i dont see how to avoid it except of course to get one of those reading stands, which i will probably get. i visited my doctor a few months ago with complaints about this, and she did an x-ray and said everything looks fine, it must just be muscles. so i assume that with a proper chair and reading stand and stretching this will be mitigated.
Reading stand might be good, bending your head over to read a book on a desk that is too low puts a lot of stress on the upper and mid back. Only thing is I often have a finger on my books where I am reading… maybe it’s time to steal my stepdaughter’s Torah pointer. Also if you work on a laptop, getting hunched over is a big problem. I have a laptop stand plus an external keyboard and trackball, and it really makes working on my laptop (MacBook Pro 15") very enjoyable. Basically it’s as good as a desktop while at home for the back and eyes, and yet I can pack it and go when needed. Runs Windows XP under Parallels when needed, and backs up wirelessly with Time Capsule. I must admit that technologically speaking, I’m about as happy as can be with this setup - though I still drool a bit over the Macbook Air.
agreed on the reading stand
bchadwick Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Reading stand might be good, bending your head > over to read a book on a desk that is too low puts > a lot of stress on the upper and mid back. Only > thing is I often have a finger on my books where I > am reading… maybe it’s time to steal my > stepdaughter’s Torah pointer. > > Also if you work on a laptop, getting hunched over > is a big problem. I have a laptop stand plus an > external keyboard and trackball, and it really > makes working on my laptop (MacBook Pro 15") very > enjoyable. Basically it’s as good as a desktop > while at home for the back and eyes, and yet I can > pack it and go when needed. Runs Windows XP under > Parallels when needed, and backs up wirelessly > with Time Capsule. I must admit that > technologically speaking, I’m about as happy as > can be with this setup - though I still drool a > bit over the Macbook Air. great point about standing. I always have extremely bad posture and now i developed bad stomach/esophagus problems. Gotta watch out !!
If the leaning forward is the issue, you might find some relief from shifting the angle of your lower body while you study. I you, like most ppl, lack flexibility in you hips- any prolonged leaning might lead to back issues as your lower back compensates by taking on pressure it isn’t designed to handle. You basically want to make it so that your femur is not parallel to the floor… w/ your knees lower than the hips. You can accomplish this by inclining your chair, or simply sitting on a small cushion that doesn’t extend forward from your pelvis. I still think you should tackle the root cause of the issue and strengthen your core; there is no reason you should not be able to sit in proper posture without pain. All these gadgets really bug me sometimes… you wouldn’t tell someone w/ ravaging roids to just carry around a donut pillow to sit on right? You’d tell them to resolve the underlying cause. It will be easier now (I’m assuming you are not really old) and hopefully prevent a future of having to work at a standing desk all day.
When I was younger in my high school days I had some back problems as well. I was studying voraciously all the time. Plus I was a pretty skinny kid without muscles (I was also on some unmentionable drugs at the time but that’s another story). I had pretty bad posture but I said once and for all to make myself a healthy, strong person in college. I worked out, gained about 20 pounds of muscle (getting off the drugs helped in this regard), consciously watched out for my posture at all times and made sure I was sitting and standing up straight wherever I was. Some things to try: -Comfortable chair which is aligned properly with the table you are sitting at -Easy access to various study materials - no need to bend over backwards to grab books -Good light to ease the strain on your eyes as well as neck when reading -Like akanska says, work out -Maybe get one of those book holders to position the book upright so you don’t have to bend your neck downwards to look at the book, which also probably causes a little curvature of your back -Even while eating, standing, running, or walking, make sure your posture is straight -Make sure to pull your shoulders back and push your chest out (not in an unnatural way, but a confident way) I think this problem is definitely fixable. My back problems probably weren’t as severe as yours, but if you really want to improve your back strength/endurance and comfort levels at all times, you can do it.
i think i may have misused the word posture. my posture is fine. i can sit down or stand up with a close to straight back. it is when i am forced to look down to read that my neck and upper and lower back start to hurt for obvious reasons–im surprised others have not experienced this. so its not really bad posture thats causing the pain–its the fact that im forced to look down at a desk for a long period of time. and youre right, im in my early 20s, so i do not want to cause any kind of permanent damage. akanska–what are you referring to when you wrote “strength your core”? i do not have a gym membership but i have weights at home that i use to do back and biceps worksouts with, and i also try to stretch a lot.