Lower back pain can be extremely debilitating and can negatively affect the quality of your life. Sufferers of back pain know all too well that the pain can sometimes be unpredictable or become chronic over time.
In today’s digital age, working remotely from home is becoming more and more common. Working from home typically involves working at a desk and computer, which often requires you to sit in a chair for long periods of time.
Poor posture or sitting for too long without adequate support can have a negative impact on the muscles in your back, causing pain in the lower back area.
While medical treatments can help alleviate some of the symptoms, and even causes, of back pain, prevention is key.
Depending on your lifestyle, which includes the level and type of physical activity you incorporate in your day, specific measures can be taken to prevent injury and harm to your back.
When working from home, it is important to make sure you have a good work set up that gives you ample support and comfort. There are different steps you can take in order to ensure that you manage existing lower back pain or stop back pain from even happening in the first place.
Ensure your computer is at eye level
Too often people have their computers placed in the wrong position relative to them, leading to poor posture and strain on the lower back. Your computer should always be at eye level. If it is too high, you will be straining your neck up to look at the screen — and if it is too low, you may have to hunch over to work. Both can lead to stress, pain and even injury to your neck and back if continued for long periods of time.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that your computer is positioned correctly when you are working. Making sure that your screen is at eye level will help you position your body comfortably so that you are not hunching or straining!
Sit upright in your chair with your feet flat on the floor
Although there are a number of fancy ergonomic chairs on the market, it is important that you first sit in the chair correctly — no matter what type of chair you have.
This means that your back should be aligned with the back of the chair and that your feet should be positioned flat on the floor. This will prevent you from hunching forward or sitting stiffly.
Sitting with your back supported by the chair will ensure that the arch of your lower back is supported, relieving pressure on the intervertebral discs in your spine. This will also help you to evenly support your body weight and not put pressure on your lower lumbar spine.
If the chair does not have good lower-back support, you can always use a pillow, cushion or even a rolled-up towel to place behind your lower back. These options may not be as effective as a full-fledged ergonomic chair, but they are certainly cheaper and better than nothing!
Lastly, you should also sit close enough to your keyboard and mouse so that you are not straining to reach them.
Take frequent breaks
When working, it can be easy to get caught up in what you’re doing in the moment. It is therefore critical that you schedule frequent breaks while working, so that you don’t find yourself working in the same position for extended periods of time and putting strain on your lower back. Your breaks can involve taking a walk inside or outside of your house, or doing stretches to relieve muscle tension and relax your muscles.
While the breaks do not have to be long, they should be frequent.
You can set a timer for the breaks so that you are reminded to take them. A break every half an hour is usually advisable, even if the break is only a few minutes long.
Alternate between sitting and standing
Doing any one activity for a repeated and long period of time can put significant strain on your muscles. Sitting at a desk in front of a computer for hours on end is not a natural position to be in. Therefore, it is advisable to change things up by alternating between sitting and standing.
You can do this by either taking frequent breaks, forcing you to get up from your seated position, or you can set up a workstation that involves standing.
A great option could be to invest in an adjustable standing desk, where you can alternate the height of the desk between being in a lower position for sitting, or a higher one for standing. Whatever the height or position, it is important to make sure that you do not stay stagnant in any one position for too long.
Call Kilian Today
At Kilian Chiropractic, we understand the consequences and suffering involved in lower back injury and pain. Our dedicated professionals have years of experience and expertise in treating and preventing back pain.
Kilian Chiropractic is committed to improving your quality of life by working with you to address any back pain-related issues that you may have through proper advice, care and treatment.
Contact Kilian Chiropractic for a consultation by either calling us at 604-688-0724 or by filling out our contact form.