Maybe you have tried everything from the chiropractor to special oils to rub on your back, but nothing will relieve you of constant low back pain. We want to help! We find that it is more helpful to change your lifestyle a little bit rather than trying to find a quick fix. So give this time. It may take a few weeks to improve, but here are 4 ways you can begin to improve your low back pain during your workday at the office (or home office):
- Stand up desks are a rising trend in the workplace. More companies are switching over to more ergonomic solutions to improve the overall health of their employees. Standing up throughout the day combats the shortening of your posterior chain muscles while at work. What’s the "posterior chain" you ask? - All the muscles from your butt down through the bottoms of your feet on your back side. Too much sitting can tighten these muscles up causing tension on your low back and your pelvis. By standing up more often throughout the day, the length and tension of these muscles stays more balanced.
- Time to set aside the nice comfy work chair with back support. Replace it with a Swiss ball. A Swiss ball is a round exercise ball that you will more commonly see at a gym. By using this big ball as a chair instead of your regular desk chair, the muscles of your internal core activate (which usually get shut off while using the backrest on a chair). When we sit for long periods of time, and our back is supported by a chair, our core becomes lazy. Your core is meant to help stabilize your pelvis. This lazy core that isn’t doing its job to stabilize can lead to pain. When you are not standing up at your standing desk, use a Swiss ball as your seat to help keep that core working and your pelvic stable.
- Stretch….at work. Yes we know you may feel silly, but it’s worth it. Not only is it great to give your mind a break, your body will feel a whole lot better after a 5-8 minute stretch break. Do some hamstring stretches, low back stretches, glute stretches, etc. Try to find 3 times during your work day when you can stop and do a quick little stretch routine. Some of us trainers even fit this in during meetings. Just fit it in somewhere! Set an alarm to remind yourself to do this.
- Stay Hydrated. We consistently encourage hydration for various reasons. It benefits the body in so many ways. We encourage everyone to drink half their body weight in ounces of water each day and to limit the amount of caffeine consumed. By staying hydrated, you are more likely to feel looser and to keep those squishy little discs between your vertebrae happy and effective. Also you will feel a lot more energized. Water is crucial!
Of course, there are many other exercises, practices (and even oils) that can indeed help with your lower back pain. In this article, though, we just wanted to highlight a few things you can easily incorporate into your daily habits at work.