Most of us work in offices, sit in our cars, sit on public transit and spend extended time sitting during travel to get to international destinations for work or leisure. We do a lot of sitting in succession which can affect our posture and how our muscles feel. Posture problems can cause eyestrain and tension headaches while underusing our muscles can cause tension and present strain when we do begin to use them.

It’s been proven that this lifestyle is bad for our muscles and in fact, back pain affects 8 out of 10 people according to the National Institutes of Health. It’s such a troublesome area of the body since it’s sensitive to strain from the activities that we engage in. Our spine is also the central support for our upper bodies – it’s what holds us up right. The interlocking vertebrae that surround the spinal chord are what directly serve our nervous system. Here’s what you can do to maintain your back throughout the days of sitting.

Target the Pain

Jobs or traveling that require sitting for long and extended periods of time benefit from regular massage therapy. Attending to tension, knots and pain will provide relief and then allow you to strengthen your back to prevent pain from coming back. Massage therapy promotes blood flow, increases the breath and positively affects the heart rate to induce healing. All of these contribute to your wellness and this can have a profound effect on a person’s nervous system, thus reducing pain and inflammation. Massage therapists can also work with the hands and wrists that are subject to strain from overuse – particularly when it comes to working on computers.

Strengthen the Muscles

Strengthening your back muscles is key to preventing pain from coming back at the same level.

Some back-strengthening muscle exercises you can do at home between massage therapy sessions include:

Hip bridge – this stretch requires you to lie down on your back with your knees bent on the ground, with hips aligned to lift your body up.

What it does: Relieves pressure on the spine from sitting too long, stretches hip flexors and strengthens the spine, lower back, glutes and abdominal muscles.

Extended Table-top – this stretch requires you to get on all fours, extending the right leg back and the left arm forward. You can then repeat the same idea but with the opposing leg and arm.

What it does:

It improves muscle balance, coordination and stabilizes the spine for everyday movement like walking, running, dancing and lifting things.

Furthermore, any abdominal muscle exercises like lunges and planks will tighten your core to support your spinal health.

Sitting the days away does no good for our bodies but you can remedy pain by coming to see me for a massage and maintaining your back between sessions with these exercises. This will prevent your pain from coming back and allow you to enjoy its relaxing benefits.