Top 5 Tips for Dealing with Back Pain at Work: What to Do When It Just Won't Go Away
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Back pain is pretty common, and sometimes it can get in between your work, affecting overall productivity. About 93 million working days and $5 billion in health care expenses are attributed to back discomfort each year, making it the second most prevalent reason for absence from work behind the common cold. Unfortunately, 8/10 individuals will suffer from back pain at some time in their life, and around 1 in 4 Americans now suffer from back pain. Chronic back pain, according to neuroscientists, is a sort of pain that affects more than just your physical health.
As a result of chronic pain, brain functions such as attention, short-term memory, judgment, and social skills are negatively impacted. The Harvard Medical Center has also shown that chronic pain is linked with mental problems such as depression and anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and poor coping abilities that may harm relationships with loved ones.
Unfortunately, compared to persons who engage in physically demanding occupations, those who work in offices are more likely to suffer persistent back discomfort.
Back and neck discomfort may be caused by various factors, including how your body is positioned during the day. Fortunately, here are a few pointers everyone may apply to deal with back pain that never seems to go away.
1. Keep moving
If you want to keep your spine healthy all day, make sure you move around a lot. Don't be tempted to eat your lunch in front of the computer–get up and exercise! Various new devices on the market might assist with good posture or serve as a movement reminder. Such devices buzz after using an iPod or tablet to promote optimal posture after a long time. As of yet, no data have been published, and the gadget has not been approved for medical use, but the concept is intriguing!
You may also use your phone or computer's alarm to help you stay on top of your to-do list throughout the day. Aim to walk about the office every 30 minutes while you are there. Neck and back discomfort may be considerably reduced by taking short breaks throughout the day, whether you stand and stretch or require a water refill.
2. Try customizing your chair and desk
Consider the following advice to keep your back safe while you are at work:
Maintain the natural curvature of your spine by keeping your back straight. Lumbar support, a natural forward curvature at belly button level, is needed for office chairs. You can achieve the same effect by using an object such as a pillow or a rolled towel placed behind your back.
You should be able to maintain your feet level on the ground and your knees at a 90-degree angle when sitting in your chair. Extra support may be provided by placing your feet on a footrest or even a phone book.
Lower or remove the armrests to a 90-degree angle. If you keep your shoulders down, you will benefit your upper back.
Keep your computer at or slightly beneath eye level and at a distance of approximately an arm's length. Rather than pushing forward and stressing your neck, this will urge you to sit back and relax. Adjust the illumination on your computer if you find yourself squinting too much.
3. Prevent injuries and improve posture by engaging in regular physical activity
If you want to keep the muscles around the back in good shape, it is important to engage in regular physical activity like walking, swimming or biking. As a result of these health advantages of exercise, people are more likely to maintain excellent posture, which aids in muscle conditioning and injury prevention.
4. Lift correctly
Tighten your abdominal muscles and go close to the item if you lift or carry a heavy load. As you begin to stand, lean on your legs for support. It would help if you kept the load near at hand. Make sure to maintain the natural curvature of your spine. As you rise, avoid twisting. It's best to ask for assistance when lifting a heavy load.
5. Make changes to routine duties
Lifting aids, if available, should be used whenever possible. It's good to mix physically taxing activities with less strenuous ones. Make sure your display, keyboard, mouse, and chair are set up correctly when using a computer. Place your phone on speaker or use headphones if you regularly converse on the phone while typing or writing. Avoid excessive bending, twisting, and squeezing of your muscles. Reduce the amount of time you spend lugging large bags and briefcases.
If you are experiencing back discomfort, you are not alone; it's a common ailment, but there are ways you can protect and strengthen your back. Sitting rather than standing may be a natural instinct; however, improper sitting posture may contribute to many situations.
To keep your back in the best possible condition, you should pay attention to sitting in the proper posture, strengthening your core muscles, and seeking medical attention if the issue persists. Consult a doctor if your back or neck discomfort persists, and they may lead you to professional treatment if necessary.
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