The undeniable truth about building one’s career is that in order to take it to the next level, it is often necessary to work over time and take on an extra work load. Truly, the race to being promoted is getting more competitive than ever. Nonetheless, the obvious equation that exists is that the more time one works in the office, the more time is spent in a sedentary position – which can be harmful to ones back.
This can be testified by a number of employees undergoing the most common pain of all the working class – back pain.
Back pain and career drive has been strongly tied together because many in-office jobs require their employees to sit down in their desks most of the time to focus on the work at hand. For this reason, employees should be aware of the things that might just save them from the aftershock of their daily grind. Here are three tips on how back pain can be relieved for those desk-bound employees.
Don’t Forget to Stretch
Sitting all day in a desk makes the bones settle and become less immobile. Not moving creates stress, which could possibly lead to injury, as it can affect the way the body provides oxygen to the rest of the body. All of these can be combated by doing one simple exercise – stretching.
The wonders of stretching in a regular exercise program are strongly emphasized by many sports scientists, as it prepares the body for rigorous activities and assists with blood flow. However, doing it in the office has its own benefits too.
The usual stretching exercises at work can save anyone from extreme back pain later. This is because stretching can help improve flexibility. Better flexibility may then improve one’s performance in their regular physical activities and decrease the risk of injuries by helping the joints move through their full range of motion. It also enables one’s muscles to work more effectively. Furthermore, back and hip stretches allows for the spine to relax, making it more flexible, and negating the accumulated stress that can induce pain.
Practice Good Posture
The number one factor that induces chronic pain is a person’s posture. Posture dictates how a person’s body positions itself upright while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture is one of the most important game changers in lessening the chances of back pain.
Technically speaking, good posture involves the training of a person’s body to sit, stand, walk and lie down in the best upright position. Its range of benefit is totally dependent on how a person regularly trains his or her body to keep that healthy stance.
Posture can be practiced in the simplest of things like picking up things on the floor or sitting on a backless stool. Training the body to independently sustain a good posture can help decrease the rate of having back pain. Furthermore, the spine becomes more relaxed and does not undergo various stresses from unbalanced or torqued posture.
Exercise and Diet
Above everything else, it is important to engage in regular exercise and sustain a healthy diet. These two constant factors for overall health should be a habit for many employees mainly because it dictates how his or her body will react to the stresses that come from getting and keeping their supposed dream job.
Regular jogging is one of the simplest ways to beat back pain. This is because jogging is an all-around exercise that puts the muscles and bones into motion. In turn, it boosts the body’s endurance and strength.
On the other hand, a proper eating regimen to beat back pain includes calcium-rich food, paired together with a lot of vegetables to avoid inflammation. Also, avoiding processed food, fast food and saturated fat can help in preventing inflammation which these foods fuel.
3 Habits To Help You Say Goodbye To Back Pain
Whatever you do or whoever you are, you can’t escape back pain. Perhaps you’re wondering why your lower back always aches when you’re in the office. Perhaps you’re a student, and you wonder how come you’re extremely light book bag still brings you a lot of annoying back pains.
The thing with back pain is that it is occasionally brought about by the way you sit, stand, and walk. The way you lift slightly heavy stuff, such as backpacks or even chairs, can take a toll to your lower back as time goes by. You may not notice it, but you always put your back at risk due to improper body posture and coordination.
Also, back pains can practically affect anyone – even those who are constantly working out at the gym. You can be a serious body builder but you might not be taking care of your back when doing deadlifts. For those who have developed a good physique due to the nature of work, you can still be affected. You can be a really buffed-up operator for an excavator rental, but a wrong posture on the driver seat can cause serious back problems over time.
Since back pains are a result of accumulated unhealthy motions, the solution is easily the converse: develop healthy habits, and you can avoid back pains.
Here are three basic tips and correct habits (which are often taken for granted) that you can build up so that you say goodbye to back pains:
Correct Your Posture
Poor posture is always unhealthy for your body. Poor sitting posture places pressure on your back and can cause degenerated discs which become more and more painful over time.
What are Degenerated Discs?
Degenerated discs are regressed parts of the spine that cause slight to terrible back pains. Degenerated discs tend to develop due to poor posture.
According to ClevelandClinic.org, posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. They claim that good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities.
The proper way to sit:
- Sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Your buttocks should touch the back of your chair.
- All three normal back curves should be present while sitting. A small, rolled-up towel or a lumbar roll can be used to help you maintain the normal curves in your back.
- Here’s how to find a good sitting position when you’re not using a back support or lumbar roll:
- Sit at the end of your chair and slouch completely.
- Draw yourself up and accentuate the curve of your back as far as possible. Hold for a few seconds.
- Release the position slightly (about 10 degrees). This is a good sitting posture.
- Distribute your body weight evenly on both hips.
- Bend your knees at a right angle. Keep your knees even with or slightly higher than your hips (use a foot rest or stool if necessary). Your legs should not be crossed.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes.
- At work, adjust your chair height and work station so you can sit up close to your work and tilt it up at you. Rest your elbows and arms on your chair or desk, keeping your shoulders relaxed.
- When sitting in a chair that rolls and pivots, don’t twist at the waist while sitting. Instead, turn your whole body.
- When standing up from the sitting position, move to the front of the seat of your chair. Stand up by straightening your legs. Avoid bending forward at your waist. Immediately stretch your back by doing 10 standing backbends.
In addition, you can support the natural curve in your lower spine by using an ergonomic chair and set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to check your posture as your work throughout the day. It also helps a lot when you get up and walk around at least once an hour, especially when the nature of your work is sitting in front of a computer for many hours.
Strengthen Your Core
Your core is a complex series of muscles, extending far beyond your abs, including everything besides your arms and legs. It is incorporated in almost every movement of the human body. You can visualize this as the major region of your abdominal area and part of your lower back.
The core is a vital part of your body, since it stabilizes your overall balance and makes your upper and lower body well-coordinated and intact. As a result, it receives a lot of stress than what a normal person usually notices.
After a long period of sitting down, or lifting light objects, or plainly going through your day, core muscles will eventually be in a lot of stress. In its weakness comes pain, especially lower back pain. This is why training and building strength around your core is important no matter what your job is.
Strong core muscles are important to provide support for the lower back and avoid injury. Low-impact cardiovascular exercise—like walking—increases blood flow to the spine, which supplies healing nutrients, and keeps the muscles in your lower back hydrated.
You can try some basic aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, running, or stationary bicycling. Don’t take simple walking for granted: in general, walking as an exercise is very gentle on the back, and walking two to three miles three times per week is very helpful to keep your core active.
Walking also has the advantage of not requiring special equipment (except a good pair of shoes), and it can be done inside or outside, in almost any location, including at home on a treadmill. After a while, you can start improving your exercise by transitioning into jogging, then something more complex like sprinting, running, or high-intensity interval running.
If there’s not enough room around you to walk, you can always go to the gym and try stationary bicycling. Stationary bicycling is also beneficial to other parts of the body especially the legs: it develops the quadriceps faster than just running, and it is less-stressful to the knees.
You don’t need to go big right off the bat; if you’re not a naturally physically active person, you can always start by walking around the park, doing some enjoyable stuff like jumping ropes, or simply walk up and down your stairs while gradually increasing the activity’s intensity.
Lift Things Correctly
Even if you’re young and strong, you can still injure your lower back if you lift a heavy object incorrectly. Even when you don’t lift heavy objects often, the way you lift lighter objects can still affect your lower back.
According to WebMD, every time you lift something of considerable weight, keep a wide base of support. Here are few good habits when lifting an object:
- When the object you’re lifting is relatively heavy for yourself, your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other. Squat down, bending at the hips and knees only. If needed, put one knee to the floor and your other knee in front of you, bent at a right angle (half kneeling).
- Keep good posture. Look straight ahead, and keep your back straight, your chest out, and your shoulders back. This helps keep your upper back straight while having a slight arch in your lower back.
- Slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees (not your back). Keep your back straight, and don’t twist as you lift.
- Hold the load as close to your body as possible, at the level of your belly button.
- Use your feet to change direction, taking small steps.
- Lead with your hips as you change direction. Keep your shoulders in line with your hips as you move.
- Set down your load carefully, squatting with the knees and hips only.
Finally, here is what you should keep in mind: make this proper lifting posture a routine, and it will eventually become your second nature when lifting objects. This way, you are constantly taking care of your back, and back pains won’t be a nagging problem as time goes by.
The 3 Commandments of Back Pain Relief
Of all the pains the body has to deal with, back pain takes the top spot as one of the most excruciating and most aggravating torture to endure. With good reason, especially that it can put a huge burden on a person’s daily activities including the most mundane ones, like walking or getting up from bed.
Back pain is also one of the most common body pains throughout the world. This is due to the fact that a person’s back handles a great deal of stress during movement and keeping the frame of the body upright. Medically speaking, a person’s backbone functions as a column to support the body’s weight. There are curves existing in the backbone that assist the body to withstand great amounts of stress by evening the distribution of the body’s weight.
In the same light, back pain is almost a certainty for anyone living in this current generation where the hustle and bustle is also a certainty. Students and employees. Young and old. Everyone knows just how troublesome it is to have such discomfort – from sitting in front of a computer for hours during work, to merely keeping the back straight when reading. This is the reason why it is paramount that each person knows how to address such an inevitable struggle, as well as the important steps to take to prevent it from happening.
Come one, come all. Here are the commandments of back pain relief.
Fix Your Posture
The number one factor that induces chronic pain is a person’s poor posture. Posture dictates how a person’s body positions itself upright while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture is one of the most important game changers in lessening the chance of acquiring back pain. However, people usually talk about good posture, but they usually don’t really know what it really is.
What Is Good Posture?
Technically speaking, good posture involves the training of a person’s body to sit, stand, walk, and lie down in the best upright position. The wonders of relief it can bring are totally dependent on the regularity and actual stature of a person’s body in maintaining a healthy position, as well as to not revert to an unhealthy, slouchy posture, which is a very common and likely thing to happen.
It is important for a person to also train mentally and be conscious of his or her body’s form. This will help prevent going back to the old ways. Awareness can greatly contribute to improving one’s posture.
Keeping that in mind, it greatly helps with cause to avoid lifting heavy things which may affect the back’s form. For example, students who bring bags filled with millions of books are actually putting more strain in their backs and do not help with the cause. If only they can pack all their stuff in storage facilities in Perth from Perth Metro Storage there should be no problem.
Simply put, a less stressed back means a less stressed person.
Various types of therapy are in play today because of the wonders it can bring to the body, specifically in aiding back pain. Keep in mind that what is important before anything is done is a proper consultation with a specialist on which therapy can provide the most relief based on a person’s back situation.
The common home remedy to tend to back pain is applying ice or heat to the pained area. Heating pads and cold packs can provide comfort to the region especially if an injury has occurred. According to doctors, for acute pain or a new inflamed injury, use cold therapy.
Ice is the most common anesthesia. The cold narrows blood vessels and slows down blood flow in the body, thus reducing fluid build-up in the affected area. Ice generally helps control inflammation and swelling.
On the other hand, thermotherapy, or the use of heat is more likely to be beneficial for chronic pain because heat relaxes the overworked muscles by soothing them, stimulating blood flow, and relaxing spasms. Muscles actually develop soreness due to a chemical called lactic acid. Lactic acid accrues at the time a muscle (or group of muscles) are deprived of oxygen, which happens when people do daily activities or lift weights. When there is reduced blood flow to an impaired area, the lactic acid gets trapped, producing a build-up which generates muscle ache. Heat therapy stimulates the blood flow and hastens the taking away of lactic acid from muscles.
Unconventional therapies, on the other hand, may include nerve stimulation, aquatic therapy, and even biofeedback. Nerve stimulation or spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a therapy that uses electricity to block the pain in the back. This is an unconventional, yet very effective way to reduce a person’s intake of pain medication.
Aquatic therapy, also referred to as water therapy, is a result of the same unconventional thinking aiming for the same relief. Since water is buoyant and causes a significant amount of hydrostatic pressure, the body can achieve an improved blood flow as well as improved balance and strength, all of which are integral for posture.
For an even more eccentric feel, a therapy called biofeedback is done to control back pain, or any pain in the body. Biofeedback involves teaching patients to control their minds to control the pain in the body.
Exercise, and Eat Well
One of the underestimated methods in relieving back pain is having a good diet paired with regular exercise. This is actually one of the more significant factors which can affect back health.
So why is a healthy diet and proper exercise that important?
What most people with chronic back pain do is avoid exercise because it might hurt during the process. It is important that people should know which activity is the best for the back pain treatment, and there are various ways to go about exercising. There are exercises which should not be done by people suffering from chronic back pain, but an activity like simple walking and back stretching is something that should be practiced regularly. The vital thing to remember though is moderation of these activities.
With the same significance as having exercise, it is imperative to eat the right food and have the right diet. The importance of having a healthy diet affects back health, and can be seen in the overall effects of the body. There is a clear and simple logic following back pain: more stress equals more pain, but more weight equals more stress. Basically, more weight equates to more pain.
A proper eating regimen to beat back pain includes calcium-rich food, paired with a lot of vegetables and a lot of water to avoid and decrease inflammation. On the other hand, avoiding processed food, fast food, and saturated fats can also help in preventing inflammation which these foods are known to fuel.
Back pain makes all regular activities troublesome because of the fact that it can trigger subtle to extreme discomfort. Steps in handling this pain should be understood and practiced. Having good posture, consulting a doctor for a therapy that best suits the pain, and living a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise are just a few of the ways to manage back pain.
Truly, a healthy back is just what everyone needs.