Working in the modern office environment can be tough on our bodies. While it may not seem like it, sitting for long periods of time and staring at computer screens can be detrimental to our physical health in a number of ways.
The Canadian Chiropractic Association estimates that 85% of working people can expect to experience low back pain during their lifetime. It’s one of the most common ailments of the modern worker, and it can make daily activities very painful. Back spasms, shooting pain down the leg, and dull lower body aches can all arise due to back pain.
For 5 ways you can actively improve your lower back pain, read on!
Disclaimer: If you’re suffering from persistent and intense lower back pain it is paramount you speak with a healthcare professional as soon as possible to rule out other causes of lower back pain. Whether it’s through your Naturopath or Medical Doctor, educating yourself is vital to stopping lower back pain.
5 Ways to combat back pain
1. Get up!
One of the key factors in back pain is prolonged sitting. The best way to combat this is to implement a habit of standing up and moving!
Set alarms for yourself to stand up and walk at least once every hour. Alleviating the pressure on your spinal discs can help to lessen back pain, and get your blood flowing properly again. Niolfer Merchant of the Harvard Business Review alleviated her back pain by switching up her coffee meetings, to walking meetings, which is a fantastic idea!
Consider taking walks on your lunch break as well to get even more exercise and standing into your daily routine!
2. Resting your back
When back pain strikes, it can be tough to know what to do. Trying to find the ‘perfect’ position to alleviate the pain can promote bad posture and muscle strain.
The College of Family Physicians of Canada recommends laying down on the floor on your back and propping your legs up on your chair at a 90 degree angle (click the link for an image). They recommend staying in the position for 5-25 minutes to rest your back, and using heating pads to counteract any back spasms. While it might look a little silly doing this at work, everyone can relate to having a sore back!
One thing you should be careful when performing relief poses like this is to not stay in that one position for longer than 25 minutes at a time. It can end up weakening your muscles and slowing your recovery!
If your job requires a lot of sitting down, it should be in the best chair possible. Talk with your employer about purchasing an ergonomic chair if you don’t have one.
Your chair should be able to accommodate your body appropriately, and that means having adjustable seat height, proper lumbar support, a wide backrest and comfortable seat material. You can consult this article on Spine-health for more information when choosing the right ergonomic office chair for you!
4. Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is incredibly useful for alleviating back pain, as well as a multitude of other conditions such as digestive disorders, anxiety, soft tissue injuries and fibromyalgia.
Manipulating certain muscles, tendons and ligaments can provide immediate pain relief, and regular massage therapy sessions help to improve wellbeing and long-term physical condition.
5. Speak to your Naturopathic Doctor:
Naturopathic Doctors can make many suggestions and offer various therapies to help alleviate low back pain. In addition to anti-inflammatory foods and supplements, Naturopathic Doctors are qualified to administer acupuncture which has been shown to be a beneficial treatment for low back pain.
Also, intravenous infusions of magnesium can help to decrease systemic muscle tension throughout the body. Depending on the cause of the back pain ND’s can provide injection therapies to the lower back which have immediate effect on decreasing nerve inflammation, reducing nerve pain down the leg as well as reducing the aching sensation most patients with low back pain complain about.
If you’re looking for a solution to your back pain, give us a call or drop in for a visit at our clinic! Our Registered Massage Therapists and Naturopathic Doctors can provide helpful advice and therapy to get you back to feeling 100%!