In the process of Covid-19 pandemic that affects the whole world; The widespread use of quarantines, prolonged stay at home, sedentary life and telework, also known as tele-communication, threaten spine health and cause postural disorders to increase.
Acıbadem Bakırköy Hospital Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Specialist Prof. Dr. Berna Tander “In this process; With the addition of anxiety and stress caused by sedentary life and uncertainty to the prolongation of time spent in front of computers, phones and tablets, musculoskeletal system problems and pain began to be seen more frequently and take a serious place in public health. "We need to avoid these mistakes as soon as possible and pay attention to some rules to protect our spine health, as some of our erroneous behaviors that negatively affect our spine and posture during the pandemic process will cause our quality of life to decrease greatly in the future." Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Specialist Prof. Dr. Berna Tander explained 10 tips to protect our spine health in the pandemic, and made important warnings and suggestions.
Do not sit for longer than 45 minutes
Sitting constantly changes the way muscles that resist gravity are loaded, leading to a decrease in strength. Similarly, those who spend a long time sitting at a desk shorten the back of the leg muscles and increase the muscle tension, after a while this may cause back pain. During the pandemic process, we must organize the home working environment under appropriate conditions, otherwise we will have constant spine complaints. Restricting sitting time is very important, the maximum sitting time should be 45 minutes in a session. It is necessary to take small breaks every thirty minutes, to stand up once an hour and to stretch.
Do not cross your legs
Wrong positions such as crossing your legs for a long time while sitting, bringing the knees under the seat trigger knee pain, while sitting low increases hip pain. Both feet should touch the ground equally. Also while working in home environment; not on the floor, bed or sofa; We must work sitting at a desk and in a suitable study chair. Otherwise, the whole spine will be more painful due to poor load distribution.
Do not tilt your head forward
Head tilted forward; Today, it is a very common posture disorder among those working at a desk for a long time. Keeping the head tilted forward every 2,5 inches increases the load on the neck vertebrae twice. When looking at a mobile phone or tablet, tilting our head forward at an angle of 30 degrees for a long time puts 3-4 times our own head weight on our spine. The increase in load starts the deterioration of the disc and causes a process that leads to hardening, dehydration, tearing and hernias over time. In order for your neck and posture to be healthy, you should place the monitor of your computer 50-75 centimeters away from your eyes, and the middle point of the computer screen should be slightly below eye level. The possibility that both monitors can be used equally in a dual monitor setup should also be considered. In this case, both monitors should be placed side by side so that they come together visually at the nose level.
Make sure your chair is ergonomic
The work chair should be ergonomic; It is also necessary to pay attention to the fact that it reaches at least to the shoulder blades, the backrest wraps around the waist arc and that it is slightly inclined back. While sitting on the chair or sofa, your waistline should touch the back of the chair. If it is not in contact, supporting the lumbar cavity with a small pillow may prevent spinal muscular pain or back pain. Working in a very low chair can cause a painful problem in the front of the knee, and a chair with a height that does not touch the ground can cause spinal pain. The ideal height is roughly found when both hands are placed under the legs, with the feet touching the ground slightly in a straight position.
Avoid sudden turning movements
Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Specialist Prof. Dr. Berna Tander “It is very important for those who do desk work by sitting for a long time to put all the materials they need in easily accessible places before starting work. "Taking something off the ground, reaching up suddenly, or turning around to reach the materials you are looking for can cause severe muscle contractions or lumbar hernia."
Place your elbows correctly
When using the keyboard, attention should be paid to ergonomic rules, care should be taken not to bend the elbows too much or to keep the forearm parallel to the ground, and not to extend the hands too far. Also the spine; especially shoulders and arms should be relaxed. Other working conditions; It can cause nerve compression at the elbow and wrist level, back and neck pain. For problems in the elbow; It will be sufficient if the elbow does not rest on hard floors and the arms do not stand in the bent position for a long time.
Talk to the cell phone through headphones or speakers
People who look at technological screens for a long time or who talk for a long time by squeezing the phone between their ear and shoulder; In recent years, a new diagnosis, the disease, which has been translated into Turkish as "pocket neck disease", has emerged. When the head is straight, gravity exerts a longitudinal force, and the angle between the neck and the vertical plane increases the applied force. The risk of developing pocket neck disease increases when the neck is further than the shoulders. The severity of the illness varies from person to person; It can lead to many complaints ranging from chronic headache, disc damage or numbness in the arms to tingling. While talking on the phone in front of the computer, it is necessary to pay attention to either turning on the speaker or using a headset.
Pay attention to the lying position
Although we pay attention to our posture while standing or sitting, we may not do the same while lying down. However, our correct lying position, especially during long sleep hours, can enable us to start the day energetically. First of all, we should lie down by protecting the physiological curves of our body, the mattress should be hard and flat, and should not spring with body weight. The pillow should not be too low or too high, it should be enough to support the neck depression. Too soft pillows are harmful, while pillows that are too hard and high cause the head to hang and strain the neck. A slight height can be placed under the knees while lying on your back, and a pillow can be placed between the legs by slightly bending the knee while lying on the side.
Avoid these mistakes in nutrition!
The longer the duration of stay at home; With increased anxiety and the extreme comfort of being at home, your weight may increase too much, get out of control and endanger your spine health. Also; Muscle weakness due to decreased movement and decrease in metabolic rate due to decrease in total calorie expenditure will also facilitate weight gain. While working, you should prefer to drink water instead of having junk food on your desk. In addition, it is necessary to avoid the consumption of pastry foods, processed foods and foods that contain excessive salt. For the health of your spine, you should consume 2-3 liters of water a day. 60 percent of our body consists of water, consumption of less water or being dehydrated weakens the structure of muscles and discs, makes them vulnerable to damage and causes slow recovery.
Make sure you exercise regularly
Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Specialist Prof. Dr. Berna Tander “No matter what age we are, we should have a certain amount of regular daily activities for our muscle and bone health. It should not be forgotten that the most effective treatment method is to prevent the occurrence of the problem and to exercise with appropriate equipment, intermittent work and as much as possible. Light and moderate exercise strengthens the immune system and reduces anxiety. It is necessary to avoid a sedentary life, to exercise or walk for at least half an hour a day. " says.