Friday, September 23, 2011
Medical Reports: Sitting Down Syndrome
Most of us do it all day long, we sit at a desk or in front of a computer but exactly how we sit could leave us injured over time. 7s Diana Diaz shows us how to avoid what doctors are calling "Sitting-Down Syndrome."
WSVN -- Rosanne Mathews is competitive and loves showing off her moves on the tennis court. So when she started having severe back and neck pain she assumed it was from all of her rough activity.
Rosanne Mathews: "My lower back muscles felt so weak that I would go from a seated position to try and stand, and I would feel like my muscles were going to collapse, and I was going to fall down."
But Rosanne got an interesting diagnosis from Coral Springs chiropractor Andrew Wasserman. The doctor told her she had "Sitting Down Syndrome" or SDS.
Andrew Wasserman: "We came up with the term "Sitting-Down Syndrome" after many years of seeing many patients coming in with similar symptoms of neck, back pain, wrist, elbow, shoulder pain."
Rosanne Mathews: "That is strange that I'm injuring myself as active as I am by just simply sitting."
Like most of us, the 48-year-old spends much of her work week sitting down hunched over a computer.
Rosanne Mathews: "If I'm at meetings, a lot of time sitting at a conference table. And really slouching a little too much."
Dr. Wasserman says he's treating more students and office workers for SDS than ever before. He asks patients to sit at his desk so he can see what they are doing wrong.
Andrew Wasserman: "They'll show us some of the worst positions where the screen may be over on the side. The keyboard over here and they have to crane their neck."
He says the first key to sitting correctly starts with your feet.
Andrew Wasserman: "You want to make sure they are flat on the floor."
If your feet don't touch the floor, put a phone book under them. Also, give yourself some leg room under the desk or table.
Andrew Wasserman: "Make sure that you slide in all the way so the chair is low enough, you're not hitting the surfaces under the work stations."
Then, line up your lower body.
Andrew Wasserman: "What you want to do is have a 90 degree angle so the knees, the feet and the hips are all aligned with each other taking the pressure off the lower back."
When it comes to your upper body, he says to sit up straight and slide all the way back in your chair, don't hunch or slump forward or to either side.
Andrew Wasserman: "The ears, elbows, and shoulders are all in alignment with the hips. And then the arms, elbows and shoulders are at 90 degrees to the keyboard. You don't create a lot of stress and tension up to the neck and to the upper back."
Your computer screen should be right in front of you and can't be too high or too low.
Andrew Wasserman: "You want to make sure the computer screen is at eye level or slightly below eye level without having your head having to go up or down to much, which creates a lot of tension and stress."
Rosanne had to get a combination of treatments for several months to help ease her back and neck pain.
Rosanne Mathews: "I feel great."
Now she doesn't just concentrate on her work, she focuses on a new way of sitting.
Rosanne Mathews: "I have to erect my spine. I have to have my feet on floor, so I don't have all these problems."
Diana Diaz: "Dr. Wasserman also says you should take stretching breaks at least once each hour."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Andrew Wasserman
10394 West Sample Road
Coral Springs FL