Even as a back pain specialist, it never ceases to amaze me the extent to which our own daily routines impact something as significant as lower back health. Yet, low back pain is so common as to be almost ubiquitous. In fact, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, lower back pain affects around 60-80% of the U.S. adult population!
If you are one of the millions affected by lower back pain, then you already know that the constant, dull aches, combined with the sudden jolts of pain can be incapacitating. But could your lifestyle be contributing to your back pain? When you are sedentary all day at a 9-to-5 office grind, you bet!
Good lower back health is a function of staying physically fit and maintaining an ergonomic posture. Admittedly, this can be a bit of a challenge when you work in an office and are tied to a desk, eight hours a day — but this doesn’t have to be the case. What can be done to offset the effects of spending long hours in an office? Here are four quick tips.
1 – Improve Your Lower Back Health by Not Slumping in Your Chair
It’s tough to sit upright, at the office, but sitting properly is essential! Whether you’re in the office, bus or in your vehicle, adopt the best posture you can. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge considering that so many offices, waiting rooms and vehicles are not equipped with ergonomic seating. The good news is that if you’re conscious of the situation, you can sit properly in almost any chair you happen to find yourself in.
Also keep in mind that when you’re slumping, you may feel like you are using less effort to sit upright, but this actually puts more strain on your lower back. Do this long enough and after a while, your lower back will begin to suffer and feel the effects of your poor posture.
2 – Stand Up and Stretch to Relieve Your Lower Back
It is difficult to pull yourself away from your work, but the longer you sit in your chair – in one position, the more you risk straining your back. Get up and take a walk around the office. Stand and stretch to get your blood flowing again every half hour or so. Doing so will ensure that your muscles don’t cramp up. It will also maintain the tone in your abdomen, preventing lower back fatigue.
When you stretch your spine, you prevent alignment problems from forming. You will probably feel a whole lot better when you return to a seated position!
3 – Put Less Strain on Your Back by Emptying Your Pockets
Emptying out your pockets when you sit down at your desk may be near effortless, but it can make your lower back feel so much better! Adding weight and bulk to your pockets offsets your posture and can add to lower back strain.
Sitting down with your wallet still in your pocket is a bad habit that can really take its toll over time, so just avoid it altogether by adopting the habit of emptying your pockets prior to sitting.
4 – Strengthen Your Lower Back with Daily Stretches
You can also reduce lower back strain by doing routine exercises each night. Taking a few minutes when you get home to stretch your abdominal muscles and hamstrings can work out cramps, tone your muscles and align your spine. This will not only soothe any lower back pain you could be experiencing now, but it may also help prevent future back problems.
Armed with these tips for reducing and preventing lower back pain, you should be much better prepared for your next day at the office. Our 9-to-5 lifestyles are not the most optimal conditions for our lower back health, but you don’t have to give up and let sedentary habits take over.
Take regular breaks at work to get up and stretch, be mindful of your posture, empty your pockets when you sit down, and stretch again when you get home in the evenings. Follow these tips and you will maintain strong, healthy lower back muscles!
VacuPractor is a Class I FDA Registered Orthopedic Device for the treatment of Lower Back Pain. VacuPractor is a revolutionary new treatment device for lower back pain that may help the 26 million people that seek treatment from a doctor and the 100 million that self-medicate and self-treat. The VacuPractor is sold with a money back guarantee to relieve lower back pain, and it is proudly made in the USA.