Back pain is a common problem among employees in many professions, and if you struggle with pain in your back you are certainly not alone. Back pain, whether it's sharp or achy, can make it difficult to focus. A number of occupations that involve intense physical labor, like factory work and construction, can put significant demands on your back. But even office work can cause back pain. Read on to find out what causes backache in the workplace and how to fix it while you work.
There are a host of factors that can cause back pain at work.
If you work at a desk job, back pain associated with work is usually because of extended periods of sitting and non-ergonomic furniture. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your back happy and healthy.
Setting up your workplace with ergonomic desks and chairs will change your quality of life. Most of us spend a majority of our time sitting; it is not surprising that uncomfortable furniture causes lower back pain.
Even if you own a stand-up desk, you will still spend the majority of your workday sitting in a chair, therefore, it is necessary to buy a good one. Regular chairs tend to flatten the curve of your lumbar spine, causing back pain, whereas an ergonomic chair supports that curve.
As well as an ergonomic chair, consider getting a stand-up desk to allow you to avoid sitting for at least part of your workday. The height of a standing desk is adjustable, so you can adjust it to your specific height as well as easily switching between sitting and standing throughout the day. The movement will enhance blood flow, strengthen your back muscles and rehydrate your discs, preventing backache.
The next thing you should take into account is protecting your neck, head, and eyes. Having a workstation that allows you to maintain a neutral spine is important to your overall spine health. Consider buying a monitor arm, desk shelf, or monitor stand that allows you to work in the position that best supports yourspine. For extra comfort, get an auxiliary screen, an ergonomic mouse, and an independent keyboard.
Working on desks and chairs that are non-ergonomic creates imbalances and weaknesses that increase your risk of developing lower back pain, so having the right equipment is an important first step towards protecting your health.
You should move your body every half an hour or so. Make sure you get out of your chair at least once every hour to walk around.
Stretching workouts can enhance your flexibility and help alleviate your backache. Here are some great stretches that you can do on the floor, sitting, or standing.
The most common posture in the workplace is sitting. While seated, there are some exercises you can do to increase your flexibility and alleviate your pain.
Standing is one of the best ways to decrease your risk of experiencing back pain at work. It helps to take breaks to stand and move around even if you have to sit for the whole day long. While you’re standing, you can try these exercises to improve your flexibility and decrease pressure on your lower spine.
Balance your bodyweight uniformly on the feet when standing. Take care not to slouch. To have the right posture when seated, opt for a chair with lower back support. The chair height should be adjusted so that your thighs are parallel to the ground and your feet lie flat. When sitting, make sure to empty your pockets to avoid putting more pressure on the hip flexors, lower back and buttocks.
If you are dealing with intense pain, you may get some relief by applying cold or heat to your back while at work. Ice is especially useful if you suffer from sudden back pain; it can relieve the pain and decrease swelling. An instant ice pack that gets cold instantly once activated can be a useful thing to keep at work. To hold the ice pack in place, place it between your back and chair.
However, if you suffer from chronic back pain that’s not because of a particular injury, heat is usually more comforting. This is useful if the uneasiness is due to sitting throughout the day or due to ongoing problems. For instant heat, an electric heating pad is a great option. There are also heat bags that can be conveniently warmed up in a microwave. The heating source should be placed between your chair and back; make sure it’s warm but not so hot that it might burn you.
Cold or heat therapy should be used intermittently, for about 20 minutes at a time to avoid skin damage. Also, to prevent damage, place a thin cloth between your skin and the cold or heat source.
Over-the-counter pain relievers may be helpful if you’re suffering from occasional stronger pains. However, you should talk to your physician to determine the right kind of pain relief for you. If your pain is because of an injury, anti-inflammatory pain relievers can be particularly useful. Some pain relievers can also ease the inflammation that sometimes accompanies back pain.
Back pain is the most common work-related problem that office workers experience, and it can be challenging to determine how to ease it.
Pain in your back can reduce your productivity. And it can also lead to missing work if it’s severe enough. Getting relief from backache usually begins with recognizing the main cause, whether that’s an injury you need to treat or bad posture you need to rectify.
Adjustments to the way you do your job can relieve the tension that worsens the back pain. Plus, improving your posture, getting up and moving around, doing stretches, and improving desk ergonomics are some practical strategies to ease your back pain at work.
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