Any type of back pain, whether it’s from a chronic condition or something that’s aggravated by movement, can make it difficult to do your job. While it’s not always possible to avoid occasional discomfort, experienced spine surgeons in Los Angeles note that there are steps you can take to increase your odds of enjoying a pain-free workday.
Pay Attention to Posture
Posture can have big impact on pain and existing back issues, especially if you spend all day at work in a consistent sitting or standing position. Prolonged sitting, in particular, can place added pressure on your spine and supporting muscles. One way to counter this is with occasional “sit stretching,” which involves:
- Sitting all the way back in your chair
- Leaning your hips forward as if doing a crunch
- Pushing downwards on the armrest or seat cushion
- Holding the stretch and leaning back from your hips
- Relaxing and rolling shoulders with hands together
- Moving your chin down to naturally extend your neck
Vary Your Positions and Movements
If your company has those new desks that can be elevated for use in a standing position, periodically switch between sitting and standing throughout your day. If you have a traditional setup, mix in different movements when possible. Getting up and walking around while on the phone, for instance, can reduce pressure on your spine and give you a chance to stretch your back muscles.
Invest in Well-Designed Furniture
Since you’ll be sitting for about half of your waking life, you might as well invest in furniture that’s likely to be good for your back. If you can’t do anything about your chair at work, consider buying a seat cushion or an ergonomic backrest cushion. Don’t forget about the chairs you use at home, especially where you normally sit to use your computer or laptop. Seat cushions and back support pillows can also be used in your car or truck if your job involves a frequent driving.
If back pain does occur at work, conservative back treatments like the application of heat or cold may provide relief. Should pain linger for more than a few days or become progressively worse, see your doctor.
If conservative treatments fail to provide adequate relief, it might be time to speak with an experienced spine surgeon about minimally invasive spine treatments. Reach out to Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of diagnosticians and physicians with The Spine Institute to learn more about your treatment options. We’re here to help.