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How to Prevent Spondylolisthesis at Work

10 January 2024

A spinal disorder called spondylolisthesis happens when a vertebra or a spine bone slips out of place, resulting in pain and suffering. Due to the added strain on the lumbar spine, where the slippage typically takes place, sitting inappropriately might make the issue worse.

Spondylolisthesis could exert pressure on a nerve, which might result in leg or lower back pain. About 4% to 6% of adults have spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis. The symptoms may not be apparent to many, so you could have spondylolisthesis and not even be aware of it for years. Degenerative spondylolisthesis is more prevalent in women than in males beyond the age of 50 and is brought on by ageing and wear and strain on the spine.

How to Sit with Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis often results in lower back pain. In most cases, nonsurgical treatment can make your symptoms go away. The best way to prevent pain if you have spondylolisthesis is to sit with proper posture in a chair with sufficient lower back support. In order to sit with good posture, your back should be straight, and your shoulders should be relaxed. To avoid having to crane your head up or down when using a computer, the screen should be placed at eye level.

You can sit comfortably in chairs with insufficient support by putting a towel rolled up behind your lower back or a lumbar roll pillow. To keep your lumbar spine in alignment while you sit, be careful to keep your hips level and your legs uncrossed.

The best thing you can do is invest in a high quality ergonomic chair to improve your posture. You should raise your seat as high as possible with both feet flat on the floor and use a lumbar cushion. By making the postural adjustments through ergonomic furniture, you can achieve the neutral spine position.

When your back is in a neutral spine posture, there is no excessive pressure on any one area of your back. Such pressure is frequently present whether you sit or stand with your back arched or slumped. You can follow the tips mentioned below for optimum position:

For a comfortable standing surface, use either a desk mat or place your feet flat on the ground

Do not cross your legs on the chair

Always maintain a straight back while seated

Your desk should be positioned so that your line of sight is directly over the screen of your monitor

Avoid sitting on hard surfaces; instead, use a pillow or seat cushion made of memory foam

Sit with your arms at a 90-degree angle and make sure your forearms are resting on the surface of your desk

To prevent placing too much strain on the spine, alternate between sitting and standing frequently.

Spend money on ergonomic office furnishings

You should get a standing desk and pair it with an ergonomic office chair since you frequently need to adjust your seating position and posture to maintain a neutral spine position. You can change the height of the desk at the standing desk to suit your posture. This will make it simpler for you to sit with spondylolisthesis.

Use a Back Brace

A further step you may take to help support your spine and lessen back discomfort is to invest in a back brace. You can prevent lower back pain and eliminate strain by wearing a back brace.

The purpose of the back brace is to compress the abdominal cavity and safeguard your spine from harm. It is also looked of as a non-surgical treatment for spondylolisthesis and aids in the recovery of your spine.

Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis

Lower back ache

Tensing and stiffness of the muscles

Discomfort in the buttocks

Pressure on nerve roots

Increasing discomfort with activity

Hamstring pain

Difficulty walking or standing

Bracing and Activity Modification

Your doctor might advise resting and taking a break from sporting activities until the discomfort and lower back pain go away. This does not mean that you should stay inactive. Taiji or swimming are two moderate, low-impact exercises that enhance blood flow to the spine and hasten recuperation.

A back brace may also be advised by your doctor in order to support your lower back and stop your spine from taking on strange curves. In general, medical professionals advise wearing the brace while you are not resting. The best brace for you and how long you should wear it are determined by your doctor.

Your doctor may also recommend that you use an ergonomic chair or a standing desk at work to improve posture an avoid the dangers of long term sitting. An ergonomic chair is a great solution to many back problems and fatal illnesses.

Physical Exercise

Lower back discomfort can be reduced with physical therapy, allowing you to resume sports and other activities. You can learn easy exercises to strengthen the muscles in your back and abdomen from physical therapists who specialise in helping patients recover from spine injuries. The spine receives less stress when the core muscles are strong, acting as a "brace" inside the spine to support and stabilise it.

The lower back's strain can be lessened, and discomfort can be relieved by stretching the muscles that support the spine. Hamstrings, which run between the buttocks and knees along the backs of the legs, are frequently tight in people with spondylolisthesis. You can learn stretching techniques from our physical therapists to use on a regular basis at home.

How to Prevent Spondylolisthesis at Work

Spondylolisthesis sufferers should sit with a neutral spine and their lower back fully supported by the chair's backrest. Due to the added strain on the lumbar spine, where the slippage typically takes place, sitting might make the issue worse. Reduce any uncomfortable postures including bending, twisting, or slouching. Keep your hips level and uncross your legs. So how should someone who has spondylolisthesis sit?

Keep Your Spine Neutral

The most crucial thing to remember when sitting with spondylolisthesis is to make every effort to keep your spine as neutral as possible. By relieving pressure on the lower back, where the damaged vertebrae are usually located, this helps to calm the situation down.

The term "neutral spine" in ergonomics refers to a position in which the spine's three natural curvature are kept. This enables the spine to disperse the weight imposed on it uniformly across the entire construction, like a series of arched bridges.

As a result, when seated, you should feel a tiny inward bend in the lower back. With the aid of a lumbar support, whether built into an ergonomic chair or an external pillow, this is simpler to accomplish.

Adjust Your Posture

It's a good idea to alternate between several neutral back positions throughout the course of the day. This is crucial for everyone who has back problems, especially spondylolisthesis. Altering your posture on a regular basis relieves pressure on various joints and muscles in your body and promotes blood flow to those areas. This is necessary to encourage appropriate healing for the spine.

Sit with your knees below your hips on a kneeling chair or an office chair that tilts forward. As a result, the hips move forward naturally, making it simple to maintain a neutral spine. It's simple to keep your spine in a neutral position while standing, which is a great posture for the workplace. To help you remember to switch up your sitting postures, set an alarm for every hour or so.

Get Up and Move

Low impact workouts that don't entail twisting or overextending the back can be highly beneficial for those with spondylolisthesis. This includes standing, moving around, and performing certain stretches that release pressure from your vertebrae. People with spondylolisthesis can engage in the low-impact activities listed below to ease discomfort and build the muscles around their joints at the same time.

Use a Back Support

According to research, back braces can lessen spondylolisthesis-related pain. A back brace prevents the vertebrae from slipping farther out of alignment, reducing pain and fatigue. Your muscles and the structures around them may become more stressed and strained as the vertebrae move farther out of position. A back brace or an ergonomic chair with lumbar support restricts motion, which might push the vertebrae more out of alignment, and lessens pain brought on by this problem. The lower lumbar spine region, where spondylolisthesis is more likely to occur, should typically be the focus of this brace. You might wish to choose a bespoke brace that is tailored and created for your body and lower spine if corset or stabilising braces don't help your spondylolisthesis symptoms.

Buy a Comfortable Chair

A body-supporting ergonomic chair is an excellent investment that may make a huge difference. It makes keeping your spine neutral considerably simpler. The best ergonomic chairs for spondylolisthesis include strong lumbar support that is height and depth adjustable.

Stay Healthy

Unnecessary pressure and stress on the spine can be caused by excess weight. Keeping a healthy weight can therefore benefit people who have spondylolisthesis. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle helps restrict and lessen the symptoms of spondylolisthesis. This entails maintaining a moderate level of activity, consuming a variety of wholesome foods, and drinking adequate water throughout the day. If you don't know how to put together a balanced diet, talking to a nutritionist can help you choose which foods are best for you, your body, and your objectives.

Final Thoughts

If you have symptomatic spondylolisthesis, you are probably aware of how uncomfortable it may be to sit and sleep. This spinal condition happens when a lumbar spine vertebra falls out of place and rests on the vertebra right below it. When this happens, the dislocated vertebra may put pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves, resulting in discomfort and neurological problems.

Many individuals with spondylolisthesis have little or no pain. The good news is that this illness can be controlled without intrusive surgery. It all boils down to how well you take care of your body and how you sit for work. Search for high quality back braces, ergonomic chairs, and other options. Maintain a healthy lifestyle that benefits both your body and your life overall.