If you are working in an office you might experience lower back pain or even back and neck pain. But most often, people working in an office environment experience lower back pain.
If you are a coder, graphic designer, content creator or you work in such a similar field you work in front of a computer for long hours. And working like this for long hours can often lead to back pain.
Back pain can be acute that may last a few weeks or chronic, lasting 12 weeks or more. In most cases the back pain is acute and it will go away if cared for properly.
If the pain is not taken care of in the early stage, it might turn into a chronic condition and you don’t want that to happen.
Indicators of the acute back pain
Back pain usually starts with a low and dull ache in the lower back or sometimes you might get a “pinching” sensation in the lower back. This is your body indicating you to do something about it.
If you don’t do anything about it, your body will punish you with chronic back pain and you really don’t want that to happen. It’s better to take care of it and the next section will tell you how.
How to prevent back pain and care for it
Get a good chair
Getting a good chair is a number one priority. Most offices will have decent office chairs and that is completely fine. Remember to adjust the height of the seat to properly access your keyboard, table, mouse, etc.
If you are one of those lucky people who is working from home or is a freelancer (working from the home office) you can get a good chair that perfectly suits you.
Adjust the office chair according to your height so that your eyes match the level of your monitor screen (top portion). This will avoid any undue strain on your neck.
Click here to know how you can choose a proper chair.
Keep everything you constantly use like keyboard, mouse, book, etc. within your reach without putting too much effort. Also, keep your monitor/laptop screen at least 51 inches (21 cm) for keeping your eyes well.
Keep the brightness of your screen sufficiently bright so that you are not leaning ahead to see the screen clearly.
Adjust your chair height to match your desk height. You ideally shouldn’t be leaning forwards or straining upwards
Maintain your posture
When you sit for your long working on your computer you are bound to do this.
Yea, apparently this is not a good practice. If you don’t want your back to punish you with chronic pain you better not do this. Here are some tips for maintaining a proper posture.
- Rest your back to the backrest of your chair
- Keep your feet flat on the ground and not on the table.
- Keep your knees as close to 90 degrees as possible. Use a footrest if needed.
- Do not slouch and keep your head and neck aligned above your shoulder. No putting your chin forward.
- A small personal tip: Rest your hands on the handrest while typing while keeping your shoulders relaxed. It helps keep you relaxed.
Take frequent breaks
Being sedentary is the biggest enemy of your spine. Being sedentary will weaken your back and core muscles and that is a big reason why you might experience back pain.
When working for long hours, try to take frequent short breaks and go for a short walk. Stretch your body to release stiffness and feel relaxed.
If frequent breaks are not possible, stretch at least three times during your work time. This will ensure some kind of activity.
Like I said, being stationery is the biggest enemy of back pain. Go to the gym or incorporate a training regime into your lifestyle.
You need not be a gym buff but you definitely work on improving your back and core strength. Along with exercise, eat nutritious food most of the time with adequate protein and micronutrients.
Strengthening back and core muscles will go a long way in keeping your spine happy and healthy.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Heat + Cold Therapy can be a great way to alleviate your lower back pain. If you are feeling fatigued after a long day of work, use heat therapy with the help of a good, safe heating pad. Like this one.
If you are experiencing continuous light/dull aches in the lower back, you can take the help of Iceman (from the X-men). What I mean is, you can use cold therapy with heat therapy to manage the pain better.
Apply cold on the lower back for about 10 – 15 minutes.
Give it some rest.
Apply heat on the same area for about 10-15 minutes.
This is an excellent solution for such back pain which happens at the early stages. This will alleviate your back pain and provide faster healing.