Although it can be complicated to determine the exact cause of back pain, there exist multiple different actions that you can take to not only relieve your back pain at work but also prevent it from becoming worse.
It’s all about strengthening the back muscles, protecting the spine, reducing strain and relieving pressure from the back.
Here are 12 best ways to stop back pain at work.
1. Try to get a good sleep at night - Patients suffering from chronic back pain commonly have sleep disturbances; however, not getting enough sleep of good quality may actually aggravate pain and inflammation in the back.
For a good night’s sleep, purchase a good mattress and keep experimenting with different positions of sleeping. The natural curve of your spine can be maintained by placing an extra pillow beneath your body.
If you sleep on your back, put the pillow beneath your knees; if you sleep on your stomach, put the pillow beneath your pelvis. If you sleep on one of your sides, keep a pillow between your knees.
2. Practice yoga regularly: Yoga is very beneficial for people suffering from back pain. It also helps in the prevention of back pain.
According to a review of scientific studies published in the Clinical Journal of pain, it was found that yoga can help in reducing chronic low back pain. It does so by loosening tight muscles, improving breathing and building range of motion and strength. The focus of yoga is on relaxation; this helps you relax your muscles and reduce perception of pain.
3. Work your core: The multiple health benefits of regular exercise are well known. A regular routine of strength training exercises that focuses on the muscles of your core can help in reducing the risk of injuries related to the back such as muscle spasms and strains. Try and incorporate abdominal and back strengthening exercises in your regular workout at least 2 times every week to develop a flexible and stronger back.
4. Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity or being overweight is one of the reasons of having back pain as the excess weight keep on pulling on your back all through the day. It has been found that overweight individuals who have been struggling from back pain, when shed a few pounds found instant relief in their back pain. If you are struggling to lose extra weight, consult a personal trainer or a registered dietitian.
5. Increase your intake of vitamin D and calcium: Osteoporosis can be prevented by having strong bones. Osteoporosis is one of the major causes of pain in back especially in menopausal females. Keep your spinal bones strong by taking plenty of vitamin D and calcium.
Vitamin D rich foods are:
- egg yolks
- fatty fish
- beef liver
Calcium rich foods are:
- leafy greens
You can also take supplements to compensate your diet. However, it is recommended to always consult your physician before starting any supplement.
6. Maintain a good posture while standing: Maintaining a good posture isn’t just a way to appear good. It also helps in the protection of intricate bones of your spine to keep them functioning properly and healthy.
Bad posture places stress and strain on the muscles and bones of your back and can change the shape of your spine.
Avoid slouching, bending sideways or rounding your shoulders while standing.
7. Avoid slumping over your desk: While you are sitting in your chair at office, use the same techniques to maintain good posture that you use while standing. It is vital to maintain good posture and provide support to your back while sitting down, particularly when you are doing it for several hours in a day. Choose a chair of good quality especially that provides firm support to your lower back.
Also make sure that when you sit your knees are positioned at a little bit higher level than your hips.
8. Mingle with the crowd: Whether you are at a bar during happy hours or at an office party, avoid standing or sitting in one place. Move around in the room and mingle with the crowd. This not only helps you in opening up a bit but also helps to avoid putting too much pressure on your spinal bones, which may be the case if you stand or sit in one position for too long.
9. Quit Smoking: It is a well known fact that smoking is associated with numerous health risks, one of them being increased prevalence of back pain in smokers than in nonsmokers.
One reason behind this is that blood flow to the spinal discs is restricted due to nicotine present in tobacco, making them prone to crack, dry out or rupture. The amount of oxygen present in the blood is also reduced by smoking, reducing the nourishment to the tendons and muscles in the back.
A weak, unhealthy back is more at risk of developing accidental pulls and strains leading to back pain.
10. Lighten the load: Heavy or improper lifting is one of the most common causes of back pain. However, it doesn’t only occur to persons who lift heavy loads as a part of their jobs. Carrying a heavy laptop bag, camera, suitcase or a bag of groceries may also strain your back. Whenever possible, lighten your load by carrying less, shifting the weight from one shoulder to another or distributing the weight to both shoulders. You can also use a bag with wheels or a rolling cart for heavy loads such as boxes full of files or bags of groceries.
11. Stretch: Sitting or standing in a single place for long duration may strain your back. Alleviate the strain off your back by getting up, doing simple stretches or walking around. This will improve blood circulation to your spine. It may also ease any aches or strains that may occur as a result of inactivity.
12. Try herbal therapies and supplements: There are various supplements and herbal therapies available that you can try to relieve your back pain.
Some of them are:
- Magnesium and Calcium: When these two minerals are taken together, they help in the reduction of muscle spasms. According to a study published in the journal Anesthesia, it was found that magnesium therapy helped in the reduction of intensity of pain and improved the mobility of lumbar spine in patients suffering from chronic low back pain.
- Glucosamine sulfate: Back pain caused as a result of arthritis may be relieved by taking this supplement. However, there are mixed results in the scientific studies showing the efficiency of glucosamine sulfate.
- Herbal therapies: You can try homeopathic remedies such as Bryonia and Arnica for back pain. According to a study published in the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine it is suggested that these medicines may help in relieving chronic low back pain caused due to arthritis when used in combination with physical therapy.
It is very important to discuss with your physician before starting any new herbal remedies or supplements about their potential side effects and risks and potential to interact with other medicines.
Back pain can be very difficult to deal with and can be the cause of severe disability. However, by following the techniques discussed in the article, you can not only get relief from chronic back pain but also able to prevent it from happening.