While advances in technology allow the human race to move forward, they also present challenges for the health of our physical bodies. Many modern careers involve sitting for hours and staring at a computer, both of which are bad news for your back. Uncomfortable office chairs, bad posture, and a sedentary work routine all contribute to chronic back pain.
Today, I’m going to share a few ways you can relieve and prevent back pain. These tips are essential to anyone who’s stuck at a desk for most of their work week.
At the Office. While preventing back pain requires taking care of your spine outside the office, there are still some things you can do while at work to prevent discomfort.
- Pay attention to your posture. Your spine’s natural curve is designed to carry your weight without pressure or pain. If you are constantly sitting in a way that disrupts the natural curve of the spine, you’ll likely experience discomfort. Good posture is when the hips, shoulders, and head are all stacked in alignment over one another.
- Sit with both your feet planted firmly on the ground. Be sure that your wallet or cellphone are not in your pockets and that you are not crossing your legs. You want to keep each side of your body as balanced as possible, and since we tend to cross the same leg or keep our wallets on the same side, these can cause misalignment in the body.
- Take frequent breaks from sitting. I recommend that for every 30 minutes of sitting, you get up and move for 2 to 5 minutes. This can mean simple stretches or taking a walk outside or around the office. And, sorry﹘ getting up to use the copier or use the restroom doesn’t count!
Outside the Workplace. A pain-free workday starts with mindful living outside the office. A well-rounded, healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to avoid back pain.
- Make walking a part of your routine. While I’ve already mentioned that you could take short walks on your breaks at work, you should also be walking outside of work. Walking or hiking on uneven surfaces is even more beneficial than just walking on a track or treadmill. Varying surfaces and elevations require our spine, pelvis, and hips to move in different ways, which promotes a broader range of strengthening and mobility.
- Even if you feel like you’re “not flexible,” consider trying yoga. I firmly believe that everyone can benefit from having a regular yoga practice. Yoga has been shown to increase flexibility and core strength and reduce stress levels.
- Along with walking and yoga, I also recommend additional forms of regular exercise sprinkled into your routine. Core and back strengthening exercises will help you maintain better posture, and therefore make sitting more comfortable.
- Lastly, I recommend finding a chiropractor you can trust. Chiropractic treatment is one of the best ways to keep your spine healthy and stay out of pain. Find a chiropractor whose office offers a range of health services, such as acupuncture, massage, and physical therapy.
Remember, you can’t prevent back pain if you don’t have a healthy spine in the first place. If you’re already experiencing discomfort, it’s important that you see a chiropractor as soon as possible to resolve existing issues. Then, once you’ve corrected any existing problems, you can begin a preventative routine to maintain your health in the future.