Approximately eight out of 10 people experience back pain at some time during their lives. Lower back pain is reportedly the second reason (preceded only by colds and the flu) why Americans go to their doctors. If you are a part of the 80% who suffer from back pain, there are actions that you can take to get relief.
1. Move Around
It is a big mistake for office workers to sit in their desk chairs for hours, without moving, because that puts too much pressure on the spine. Give your back relief by shifting your weight while sitting, or stand up and stretch for a few minutes. Another good idea is to take short walks at half-hour intervals.
2. Appropriate Positioning
If your job requires that you work at a computer all day, it will benefit you to have an adjustable chair. This type of chair helps to support your lower back by maintaining the curvature of your spine. If this kind of chair is unavailable, try using a pillow to support your back.
How you position yourself is also important. Make sure that you sit with your back against the chair, or the pillow that you’re using, and with both of your feet on the floor. The best placement for your computer monitor is close enough that you don’t need to push your head forward, straining your neck, to see what’s on the screen. The screen should also be at eye level so that your neck is straight and not angled up or down.
Routine exercise, such as gym workouts, cycling, or yoga will improve your overall physical condition. Physical fitness decreases reoccurring back pain. Additionally, exercise helps to reduce stress, which is another cause of back pain.
4. Balance Your Load
Gentlemen, when you carry a wallet in your back pocket, sitting on it all day is misaligning your spine. You may want to place your wallet someplace else. Ladies, you may want to alternate shoulders when carrying your shoulder bag.
If your job involves standing in one place for hours, like a surgeon, for example, standing on a cushioned rubber mat can keep your back from getting sore.
When you sit most of the day, take note of the surface underneath your chair. If the chair is sitting partially on a carpet and partially on a tile surface, it’s affecting your balance.
5. Be Aware of Your Posture
Should your job require heavy lifting, use proper body mechanics when lifting, and use the appropriate tools and equipment to help you as needed.
A healthy back is vital to your well-being. The better your back feels, the better you will feel.