Lower back pain is so common among office workers that it’s almost impossible to find a person with a sedentary job who can honestly say that they never experienced back pain in their life.
Unfortunately, only few people realise how debilitating back pain can get if ignored.
Lower back pain left untreated can often snowball into a disabling and long-term problem, and sometimes even result in surgery.
This certainly can have an impact on your ability to work, carry out your fitness routine or simply enjoy active fun time with your family.
…not to mention that if lower back pain prevents you from exercising, this may also have serious consequences on general health and fitness.
Do you have an office job? Are you also at risk of suffering from lower back pain? Or are you already noticing some of these dangerous symptoms?
If you are like me, you probably often get really busy with work and your whole focus gets consumed by the task at hand. While you are focusing on getting it all done you tend to forget about your own posture and end up slouching on the edge of the chair… curving your spine into a “C” shape.
Think about it for a moment. Have you found yourself in really awkward positions in front of your computer at times of stress and high work volumes? Your shoulders curl up and your chin comes right forward when you are in front of your computer trying to get things done in a hurry.
Understanding what you can do to prevent and fix back pain is essential to your health and well-being.
You see, back pain can make it hard for you to do the things that you love and stop you from living your life to the fullest or the way you want.
It can also make it hard for you to get a good night’s sleep leaving you feeling tired and lethargic the following day.
Lower back pain can easily make you less social with your friends and less productive at work.
On the bright side, in most cases by adjusting the way you do things in your day to day life can save yourself from this debilitating problem.
Here are some ways to beat back pain in your lower back, so you can start enjoying life to the full again and regain the lost vigour and energy.
1. Use the right sitting posture
This reminds me of those old etiquette lessons where you are being told to sit up straight. They may have been on to something. When you slouch, it creates damage that will lead to pain and discomfort.
So sit up straight with your back slightly arched and your shoulders over your hips. Try to pull your shoulders back slightly and keep your neck elongated.
One of the best ways to ensure you sit correctly is using a chair with lumbar support – a curved backrest that helps to support your lower back and keep your spine straight.
If your chair doesn’t have an in-built curved back rest you can get a lumbar cushion that you can attach to your chair.
The same applies to your car seat. Talk to one of the physiotherapists at BodyFit Physiotherapy Pakuranga or Howick if you’re not sure what this is and how to use it. We have some of these at the clinic.
2. Get up and take a quick walk
Take a quick walk every twenty to thirty minutes. You can walk to an office printer, take a bathroom break, or head to the water cooler for a quick drink.
If your boss frowns on movement within the office, just stand up and stretch. Touch your toes, reach to the ceiling, and move your legs a bit.
Give your body a break, so that you can effectively keep going through your day, and enjoy a night free from lower back pain.
Remember, you are putting excessive stress on your spine when you stay sitting non-stop for hours without a break. Regularly having a quick break from sitting even for one minute can help you avoid that undue stress and potential damage.
3. Set up your desk properly
Constantly turning to one side or the other and putting your body in an awkward position to type or answer the phone is likely to cause back pain. Make sure that you are able to set your desk up in a way that you are working straight on.
Close your eyes for a second and visualise your work-station. Do you often have to twist your body unevenly one way or another to reach for the phone or printer?
You can possibly move your chair from side to side to put yourself in front of the phone or the computer. If you have an “L” shaped desk, set up two stations and turn your chair facing the area that you are working instead of twisting your body to the side. It will help your back to stay in a good alignment and protect your spine.
That way you probably won’t have to worry about that nasty back pain when you get home.
If you have an advantage of having a standing desk, you will not only be able to help your lower back pain, but you will protect your heart as well. People who are able to move around have less chance of cardiovascular diseases and, as you know, your heart is crucial to your overall health.
There is a real possibility that a new way of working will eventually exist, because those people who are standing and moving around are more productive as well.
To get in touch with BodyFit Physiotherapy Pakuranga call us on 09-5328942