Most of the professionals who work in offices complain of back pain. Especially lower back pain. And lower back pain is far from pleasant – it can be dull, sharp, stabbing, and quite painful.
Moreover, lower back pain is frequently accompanied by other issues such as neck and leg pain, and so on. If back pain lasts for only a couple of weeks, it’s called acute and if you do something about it, it will go away.
However, if untreated, acute back pain can also turn into chronic over time. Chronic pain can last up to twelve weeks or longer if you don’t do anything about it.
Since you can’t change your working circumstances, you should find ways to alleviate office back pain to avoid developing chronic back pain. That’s one of the reasons we decided to write this guide.
Here are several effective strategies that can help you alleviate office back pain.
The best thing you can do for yourself is give your workstation an ergonomic makeover. Whether you work in an office or have a home office, creating an ergonomic workstation will help you alleviate your back pain.
An ergonomic workspace is a space adapted to your needs. Its purpose is to protect you from physical damage and make your every workday safer, more comfortable, and more productive.
The tips on how to create an ergonomic workstation include adjusting the height of your monitor, chair, and desk. The top of the monitor should be at your eye level. You can lower or raise it so that your gaze falls naturally to the area you look at the most without having to lean forward or tilt your head.
Then, you should adjust the brightness of the monitor. The low brightness will cause you to lean forward to see. So, make sure you adjust it so that you can sit without leaning. Similarly, you can adjust the font size on your monitor so that you don’t have to lean forward and can maintain good posture.
Invest In The Right Office Chair
A good office chair is also a part of the ergonomic workspace. An ergonomic chair will help you keep a good sitting posture.
If you’re interested in investing in such a chair, you should look for a chair that has adjustable height, backrest, and armrests. The 360-degree swivel and lumbar support are also important.
The height of your chair should allow you to comfortably place your elbows on the desk. Adjustable backrests and armrests are also highly important because they allow you to relieve the strain on your upper back.
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The lumbar support of the desk chair provides support for your lower back. It helps you with posture and reduces tension and pressure on your lower back. The 360-degree swivel can also help you improve your posture because you won’t have to turn and twist your torso.
Practice Good Sitting Posture
But having an ergonomic workspace isn’t enough if you don’t have a good sitting posture. That’s one of the reasons why you should learn how how to sit with proper posture.
To improve your sitting posture and reduce the risk of back pain or at least alleviate it, this is what you should practice:
- Sit so that your hips and knees are bent at 90-degree angles. Your feet should be on the floor, and the back of your knees at the edge of your chair.
- Your head, with a straight neck, should be stacked on top of your shoulders over your pelvis. Keep your back straight and the curve of your spine in a neutral position. You can engage your abdominals to help support your lumbar back.
- Upper arms should be straight next to your body and the lower arms at a 90-degree angle on armrests.
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Take Frequent Breaks
Even with a perfect posture and ergonomic workspace, you can’t sit throughout the whole day. It’s essential that you take many short breaks. Getting up and moving will help you stretch your back and legs.
You can prevent back pain even with a one-minute walk every hour. If you’re unable to take breaks that frequently, you should at least stretch three times during the workday.
In addition to stretching and walking around during your frequent breaks, you can also incorporate different relaxation techniques. Try out breathing techniques, visualization, mindfulness meditation, or yoga.
Indulge In A Post-Work Massage Therapy
Another beneficial habit you can indulge in after work is massage therapy. This therapy is a natural and drug-free way to relieve back pain, joint pain, and muscle tension.
A massage therapist can help you choose between various types of massages. Some effective back pain massages include Swedish, sports, Shiatsu, and Thai.
If you’re interested in trying Thai massage, book a relaxing Thai massage at Rozelle. Trying any of these types of massages can be effective for treating lower back pain.
Strengthen Back Muscles
Another very effective strategy that can help you alleviate back pain includes strengthening your back muscles. To be able to do that, you’ll need to take up some sort of physical exercise.
You can try doing yoga or some basic exercises that target back muscles. Swimming, cycling, and walking are also some of the activities that could help with your back strength and posture.
When starting any sort of physical activity, make sure you ease into it and seek the help of a professional trainer. If you jump right into it, you risk injury.
So, consider attending a class or hiring a personal trainer who can help you strengthen your back and improve your posture.
Wear Supportive Footwear
Wearing supportive shoes is also a great strategy that can help you alleviate office back pain. Wearing high-heeled shoes too often can negatively affect your center of gravity and posture.
Instead, regardless of whether you sit or stand/walk around a lot in the office, try wearing comfortable and supportive footwear. Additionally, you could invest in rubber mats that are placed in the spot where you stand the most or footrests.
Discover What Works For You
Never ignore your back pain. Office back pain may seem inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be. Don’t let your acute back pain turn into chronic. Do something about it.
Discover which one of these strategies works the best for you.
Either way, good posture, and a comfortable office chair are half the job done. So, if nothing else then work on your posture and invest in an ergonomic desk chair.