The rise of technology has brought with it an epidemic of back pain as millions of office workers have begun to spend every working minute hunched in front of a computer. (Who would have thought that the back of labor would be broken by a computer?) Thankfully, technology is also providing some solutions for repairing our collective crooked back. For example:
Magnets have been used as a scoliosis treatment for some time. Now, they are being used by some practitioners as a way to stimulate nerves and retrain them to normal. Medicine hasn’t bought in completely. Magnetic therapies still feel a little like snake oil to the AMA.
Huge advances have been made in the technology of what we sit on while we hunch in front of our computers. From the back chairs that became popular in the 1990s to today’s ergonomic office chairs, higher-end office furniture supports good posture. (Considering that doing so is only an issue of shape, not materials, it’s surprising that low-end furniture doesn’t do so as well.)
Microsoft’s ergonomic keyboard never really took off, partly because it required users to re-learn how to position their fingers for typing. But an ergonomic keyboard can be very helpful to those suffering from poor work posture. By positioning the hands to minimize stress, they promote an overall posture that is less damaging.
A surprising percentage of sore backs are due less to the stress of work or recreation and more to the stress of sleeping. Sleeping every night on an inferior mattress distorts your back’s natural shape for eight (largely motionless) hours a night. In addition to contributing significantly to back pain, the stress of a online slots poor mattress can degrade the quality of sleep and leave a person less rested in the morning.
For those who experience severe back pain, braces have always been important. Today, high-definition imaging technology is allowing some brace makers to make custom-fitted braces that are more effective than ever. No off-the-shelf brace will ever be a perfect match for the specific contours of a person’s body, so only a custom brace can hope to do an adequate job of keeping the spine straight and relieving it from stress.
So far the proliferation of technology has been almost as much of a boon to my local Seattle chiropractor as it has been to the venture capital community, since back strain is such a part of computer culture. However, one can expect that more research into the causes of back pain, and the development of more novel pseudo-medical therapies, will lead to further improvements in spinal therapy.
For the individual who suffers from mild or moderate back pain, the solution probably doesn’t even require modern technology, however. Improving posture, increasing exercise, and taking frequent breaks from intense computer work will all contribute to a healthier lifestyle and a healthier back. When back pain does become severe, it’s a good idea to see a chiropractor immediately to avoid causing damage that will require rehabilitation.