Year-on year around the world, a bad back is the number one reason for days off work. Humans aren’t sedentary animals; our ancestors are hunters and gatherers built for running and standing.
But today, most of us work and travel sitting down. And what do we do when we get home from work? We sit on the couch and watch TV. Well, here are some tips to shake up your lifestyle and ease that bad back besides wearing supportive shoes or comfortable sandals.
- Try a standing desk
Flimsy chairs and long days spent hunched over a computer screen are some of the ways working in an office can impact your health. So if you work 9-5 (or longer) sitting down, ask your boss to invest in an ergonomic chair. Stand up and take breaks walking around every half hour. Or better yet, try a standing desk which can attach to your existing desk. Your employer should also check your workstation to ensure your monitor and other equipment are best placed to avoid injury. Also make sure to invest in the best shoes for standing at your desk all day to prevent foot injuries.
If your job involves lots of driving, try to break up journeys with stops at service stations and stretch and stroll around to ease your back.
- Go with low impact sports
If you can, going for a swim during a lunch break can work wonders for your bad pain. Avoid sports or exercise with high impact stress on the spine, such as running on pavement. Swimming and cycling are good alternatives. But there are plenty more low impact sports if these don’t take your fancy.
- Try a chiropractor
Medical specialists such as chiropractors can help with managing chronic spinal pain. When a specialist manipulates your spine, you can feel great short-term benefits. They’ll also be able to give you tips to ease long-term suffering, such as exercises to improve your posture.
- Do yoga
Yoga and other stretching exercises can help your back long-term. Because our muscles are all connected, you could find that your lower back pain originates in tight hamstrings. By stretching out your muscles, you can ease anxiety, too – another cause of back pain. Try Yoga Nearby to find a class, or learn the moves and roll the mat out at home.
Stress affects our posture and makes our muscles tense up – aggravating a bad back. Breathing exercises and switching from coffee to decaf or green tea are little things you can do to de-stress. But if you find your job overly stressful, it might be time to consider a career change for your health.
- Try a tennis ball
A small hard ball such as a tennis or squash ball can offer short-term relief from back pain. Simply lie on the ground and place the ball under the area of your back that hurts. The ball will de-knot the muscle, leaving you feeling relaxed and relieved.
Try these steps and you’ll find relief from the pain of a bad back. If pain persist, see a doctor as it could be down to an underlying condition. And if your posture requires a re-think, they’ll be able to point you towards the specialists who can help.