Back pain commonly accompanies work tasks, especially if you have an office job. It’s important to protect, strengthen, and nourish your lower back in order to reduce any pain and prevent damage from occurring. Try adding one or all of these three tips to your routine to take stress off your lower back.
- Use a stand-up desk for at least part of your day.
Sitting for long periods of time is a common cause of lower back pain. The posture that you take while sitting, especially if leaning forward to look at a computer screen, puts an unusually heavy load on the lumbar discs, joints, and other structures. To avoid these long periods of putting stress on the lower back, many people have taken to using stand-up desks, at least for part of their work day. These desks range in styles, from inexpensive desk toppers to fully-adjustable models.
If you suffer from lower back pain, it’s a good idea to start off by standing for only short periods of time and gradually increasing your stamina. You can add a cushioned mat under your feet for more comfort. Standing more, along with taking short walks around your work area or taking occasional stretch breaks, break up long periods of sitting, which can make a big difference on how your back feels.
- Stretch your hamstrings daily.
The hamstrings are the large muscles that run down the back of each thigh. These muscles can easily become too tight, potentially transferring this stress to the lower back and contributing to back pain. Doing one or two gentle hamstring stretches a day is a quick and easy way to alleviate back pain.
- Sleep in a slightly reclining position
Supporting the lower back in a slightly reclined position, with the knees supported and elevated, can help alleviate back pain. This is especially true for those with lower back diagnoses such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and lumbar degenerative disc disease. If you find it difficult to sleep on your back, try resting in a reclining chair and/or reclining in your bed while reading before going to sleep. The easiest way to adopt this new sleeping position is to use an adjustable bed, also called an adjustable base.
It’s important to care closely for your back to prevent injuries from occurring down the line.