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Effects of Sitting Combatted by McHenry Exercise and Not Sitting!

“Sitting. It’s the new smoking.” You have surely heard this claim. OrthoIllinois Chiropractic sees the effects of sitting in our McHenry chiropractic practice in the form of back pain, neck pain and related issues. Let’s discuss sitting and being sedentary workers and what our options might be.


Is the sitting and smoking a little glaring? Maybe. One medical report uncovered that 300 news articles cite this claim! (1) Glaring or not, it does draw attention to the concern that sitting a lot is not healthy for anyone. 25% of adults McHenry chiropractic patients and adults included sit more than 8 hours daily. Older adults supposedly sit for even more time. (2) OrthoIllinois Chiropractic realizes we all sit. We’re not shaming you! We’re with you!


Sitting is what we do. Researchers document that low back pain sufferers’ activity levels are low. Of 300 patients, 32.5% lead sedentary lives, 48.5% had underactive lifestyles, and 68.3% of them didn’t do any activity to enhance muscle strength or flexibility. (3) Continued sitting created a risk for all-cause mortality unrelated to physical activity even if it is of moderate to vigorous effort. The best suggestion is to decrease sitting time not just increase physical activity levels. (4) OrthoIllinois Chiropractic supports both, too!


One author opined the challenge of the “exercise to buffer sitting’s effect” implication as an “inconvenient truth”: a few weekly trips to the fitness center isn’t able to really wipe away a lifetime of sitting. He also contended that fixing the sitting issue by standing has its own issues (beyond its being uncomfortable!) like varicose veins and foot pain. (5) So what then, particularly for low back pain sufferers? Dynamic strengthening exercises – those that focus on core and global stabilization plus endurance in stabilizing musculature – showed better improvement in pain relief and better function especially in the lumbar multifidus and transversus abdominus which are two muscles that low back pain bothers. (6) More specifically, a 20-week lumbar stabilization exercise and muscle strengthening exercise program reduced low back pain and functional disability in sedentary workers. A lumbar stabilization exercise program proved more helpful and persisted for 12 weeks. (7) A bonus to lumbar segmental stabilization exercise is that it activated the deep muscles and boosted respiratory function and pressure in chronic low back pain patient who had segmental instability. (8) Respiration is important! Another study showed that forced breathing exercise therapy effectively enhanced trunk stability and daily living activities in chronic low back pain patients, especially for those with chronic lumbago in whom these exercises decreased pain. (9) Exercise helps! It’s not everything for us sedentary folks, but exercise is a piece of the puzzle.

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Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. Shawn Nelson on The Back Doctors Podcast about The Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management’s role in back pain management to help a runner re-gain his stride despite his facet syndrome back pain condition that irritates us sitting folks.

Schedule you McHenry chiropractic appointment with OrthoIllinois Chiropractic today. If “sitting is the new smoking” issue defines you and back pain makes matters worse, McHenry chiropractic care is for you…in addition to trying not to sit so much and exercising a bit more!

OrthoIllinois Chiropractic urges less sitting and more exercising to combat back pain and other pain issues. 
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"This information and website content is not intended to diagnose, guarantee results, or recommend specific treatment or activity. It is designed to educate and inform only. Please consult your physician for a thorough examination leading to a diagnosis and well-planned treatment strategy. See more details on the DISCLAIMER page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I."