If the thought of endless shopping queues, crowds of frantic last minute buyers and traffic jams longer than Santa’s Christmas Eve journey is enough to send you into a frenzy, then you’re probably like to do your Christmas shopping online. These days, it is super easy to buy anything, from anywhere at just the click of a button. And the best part is that you don’t even have to leave your house (or even your pyjamas) to do it!
But have you considered the stress and strain all that computer use is having on your spine? According to our Fareham chiropractor, online shopping at a laptop or a computer can cause compression problems both at the bottom of the spine and at the cervicothoracic junction; where your neck joins your shoulders.
So let’s look at how this comes about exactly…
The Lower Back
Compression of the base of the spine is easy to understand. Put simply, the bricks at the bottom of the stack take more weight and you slowly leak fluid from your intervertebral discs. Sitting for prolonged periods causes your discs to gradually become drier and thinner. When this happens, your lower back becomes weaker and stiffer, making it much more prone to injury and pain. Something as seemingly inauspicious as spending a lot of time at a computer can go onto cause years of chronic back pain.
The Upper Back
Heard of your trapezius? It’s that thick, bulky muscle that covers the back of your neck and the cross-bar of your shoulders. Its job is to hitch up your shoulders and control the forward angle of your neck. When you’re sat peering at a computer screen for hours on end, your trapezius can become overactive, which can lead to tension, stiffness and pain.
It may be tempting to swap the High Street for the laptop in the lead up to Christmas, but make sure you do so in a way that is safe on your spine. Your chiropractor will be able to recommend ways in which you can shop online safely. The alternative is the risk of developing potentially long-term back pain. And let’s face it, that’s a Christmas present no one wants to receive!