In today’s world of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming video services, people are able to watch an entire season of their favorite TV show in one weekend. This activity, known as “binge watching,” can be a great way to catch up on your favorite shows or discover new ones, but the toll it can take on your body can be a serious one. Sitting for too long in one spot can cause back pain, and binge watching on a regular basis can have long-lasting effects on your spine. At the Colorado Spine Institute (CSI) in Loveland, we can treat your chronic pain and provide recommendations on how to improve and maintain your spinal health.
Avoiding the C-Curve
Sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause your spine to curve into a C-shape, rather than its natural S-shape. If you’re slumped on the couch for hours, watching several episodes of “Game of Thrones” to get caught up before the new season starts, you could wake up the next morning with excruciating back pain. Your vertebrae aren’t moving, and neither are the muscles in your back, and this stasis can create aches and pains that could last for days. Your spine is curved while you sit, and leaving it in that position for too long can create lingering problems.
Get Up and Move Around
Once an episode of your favorite show is over, get up and move around for five to 10 minutes. Take the dog for a walk, clean up the kitchen, or complete some other quick and easy chore before you return to the couch. Speaking of the couch, it can be helpful to maintain good posture while sitting, with a cushion behind your back for lumbar support and a pillow for cervical spine support. If you’re sitting in a recliner or have your feet up on an ottoman, make sure your head is properly aligned with your spine so you can avoid neck pain the next morning.
Another thing to consider if you want to watch a few 30-minute episodes is to put the TV in front of your treadmill or elliptical trainer. You can walk for 30 minutes to an hour while you watch a few episodes, and you’ll be getting a workout at the same time. Obesity and other health issues can be a concern for people who spend several hours watching TV every week, and even just one to two hours of activity can help mitigate those issues. Obesity can have a devastating effect on your spine’s health, as well as other parts of your body.
If you enjoy spending a few hours each weekend catching up on your favorite shows, or you’ve heard from several friends how great a certain series is, make sure to prepare your couch and yourself for the hours of binge watching you’ll be doing. There’s nothing wrong with taking some time to get into a new show, but be sure to think about how it can affect your body. If you’re suffering from chronic back pain from too much time on the couch, contact CSI today to schedule an appointment.