How can understanding chiropractic ergonomics help your care?

During a normal chiropractic care session Dr. Adam examines the patients neck for stiffness. Along with the neck, the back can also show signs of stiffness that can be due to the way the patient uses their body at work. During a chiropractic session Dr. Adam will ask several questions to understand what the patient may be doing daily to cause the issues he is seeing. Some of the common questions he asks: How is your office set up? How do you sit at work and for how long? Many people over look their work settings as a source to create pain and discomfort. When patients are consistently doing the wrong thing to the body for 40 hours a week they will definitely be able to see and feel the physical effects.


What is ergonomics and why is it important to chiropractic care?
Ergonomics comes from two Greek words. The first is “ergon” which means work and the second is “nomos” which means laws. Ergonomics is now known as the engineering or designing of the workplace or job to fit the worker. There are two main factors in ergonomics the environmental factors and the physical factors.

Environmental factors include things like area noise, lighting, air quality and temperature. Environmental factors can cause effects like allergies, fatigue, headaches, stuffy or running nose, and excessive sweating.

The physical factors such as the position of the chair, desk, computer and other areas of the work space can have effects such as stresses on joints, nerves, bones, and muscles.

There are many physical problems and musculoskeletal disorders that can be created from improper working positions including:
Carpal Tunnel
Tennis elbow
Trigger Finger

Dr. Adam has several tips to create a better work environment to help your body and overall wellness. There are several little things that add up over time and can lessen the adjustments needed during their chiropractic session.

If you sit at a desk your computer monitor should be an arm lengths away. You should be able to stretch your arm out and touch the screen. If it is any further away your body and neck with move forward to get closer putting your neck in the wrong position.

The center of the monitor should be at the center of your eyes. This way you don’t have to look down at the screen. If anything, it would be better to have your screen higher so you are looking up, which is a better neck position than when looking down. If you have a laptop you should have a stand for it. Neck stiffness can be caused from looking down at the screen.

If you sit at your desk all day you should do the Bruegger’s exercise once an hour. To do this you basically reverse all your body positions and hold them for 10 seconds. For example if you notice your chin has been facing down, then point your chin all the way up and hold for 10 seconds.

When sitting at a desk the feet should be flat on the floor with hips and knees at a 90-degree angle.  The chair is designed to assist with appropriate body positions. The arms should be hanging in a normal position. The arms of the chair may need to be adjusted so the arms hang at the correct position. To support the lower back, one should sit all the way back in the chair with the back rested against the back of the chair. Most people tend to lean forward or on the edge of the chair. If you need to cross your legs it is best to cross the legs at the ankles instead of the knees.

Remember, that the way a joint functions can change by sitting in a position for a long enough period of time.  So, it is always wise to get up from the desk at least once an hour. Anytime there is discomfort in the body while sitting it is a good time to adjust the body position or get up and stretch.