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The ONE movement to avoid at all costs!

Education | | Dr. Dann

Sitting for long periods of time!!

Have you been told to STOP!? Stop walking, stop running, stop lifting, stop doing what is causing pain? Just STOP?

How’s that working for you?

If you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, or have been told to not be so active by a practitioner, there are some consequences you should be prepared to face. Our bodies are not designed to sit for hours on end, in fact they are designed for movement and can get quite bent out of shape when we stop moving them regularly!

Sitting for extended periods can significantly impact your mobility and contribute to various aches and pains throughout the body. Here are just five ways it can affect you.

Tight Hip Flexors

When you sit for prolonged periods, your hip flexor muscles, located at the front of your hips, can become tight and shortened. This can lead to decreased flexibility and mobility in the hips, making it uncomfortable or even painful to stand up or move around freely. Tight hip flexors can also contribute to lower back pain and poor posture.

Stiff Spine and Reduced Spinal Mobility

Sitting for long hours can cause the spine to become stiff and less flexible, particularly in the thoracic (upper back) and lumbar (lower back) regions. This can result in decreased spinal mobility and range of motion, leading to discomfort and stiffness when trying to twist, bend, or move the spine in various directions. Over time, this stiffness can contribute to chronic back pain and postural problems.

Weakened Gluteal Muscles

Sitting for prolonged periods can cause the gluteal muscles (buttocks) to become inactive and weakened. This can affect your ability to perform activities that require hip extension and stability, such as walking, running, or climbing stairs. Weak gluteal muscles can also contribute to hip and lower back pain, as well as alter your gait and posture.

Tension and Pain in the Neck and Shoulders

Spending hours hunched over a desk or computer can lead to tension and tightness in the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and upper back. This can result in discomfort, stiffness, and even sharp pain in these areas. Poor posture while sitting, such as rounding the shoulders and jutting the head forward, puts additional strain on the neck and shoulder muscles, exacerbating these issues.

Reduced Circulation and Swelling

Sitting for prolonged periods can impair blood circulation, especially in the lower extremities. This can lead to swelling in the feet and ankles, as well as contribute to the development of varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Reduced circulation can also impair tissue healing and increase the risk of inflammation and discomfort in the legs and feet.

To mitigate these effects, it's important to incorporate regular breaks and movement throughout the day, practice good posture while sitting, and engage in stretching and strengthening exercises to counteract the negative impacts of prolonged sitting on mobility and musculoskeletal health.

If you sit for long periods of time, set a timer and make sure you are getting up and moving around every hour. If you can stretch twice a day in addition, this is even better! If you are reading this and it resonates with you, we would love to help. We have lots of informational videos on our instagram, and as always, you can call us and we can talk more about what’s going on.

Remember, movement is medicine!!! Never stop moving your body, and if you are struggling with that in any capacity, we would love to help.

Dr. Dann is a chiropractor serving Milwaukie, Happy Valley, Clackamas, and Oregon City.
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