Incorporating Workplace Wellbeing
Lady with back pain

Back pain? 4 ways to avoid it whilst working in the office!

According to NHS UK, back pain is suffered by 1 in 10 people across the world and is more common within Western Europe. This statistic may even be higher as there are millions suffering in silence. In fact many of us seem to be suffering with pain and are just getting on with it! Is this the way we should be living?

A systematic review written by A. Fayaz et al. found that between one-third and half the population in the UK are suffering from chronic pain. Approximately 28 million adults! This is understood to continue to increase with an ageing population. Worrying statistics I know. Lower back pain is one of the types of discomforts that many of us seem to be suffering with. With it being the leading cause for disability, not just in the UK, but globally, it’s no wonder why so many of us suffer from it.

So how is lower back pain caused?

This is a difficult question. There’s not one specific answer that causes lower back pain, but there are lots of things that can contribute.

Sometimes the pain can be from a past injury or accident and the back hasn’t healed properly, or sometimes it can be from poor posture, inactivity and stress. Whatever the cause, it’s something that many of us are suffering from and something that can be reduced and avoided.

4 tips to avoiding lower back pain!

Avoid being inactive!

Inactivity can lead to lack of blood flow, stiffness and poor range of movement. If our muscles are not getting enough blood, they are not being oxygenated and this can result in us getting pains and discomforts. Poor blood flow can lead to a number of other issues, such as; angina (chest pain), muscle cramps and oedema (Swelling). If working at a desk, try getting up every hour and walk around the office, this helps to increase your blood flow and reduce the chances of these issues.

Sit with good posture

Posture can be key when it comes to experiencing lower back pain. Those who aren’t supporting their backs in the correct way are more susceptible to aches, pains and discomforts. Hunching over at your desk can put extra strain and pressure through your back and ultimately lead to further discomforts. Make sure you are sitting correctly!

Stretch like Stretch Armstrong

For those of you that remember Stretch Armstrong, this is a little exaggerated and not the best, or even a possible way to stretch, but I hope you get the principle. Stretching has many benefits when it comes to reducing lower back pain. By keeping our muscles limber and flexible we are less likely to experience muscular related pain. Stretching increases blood flow by opening up the fascia, allowing blood to get to the muscle tissue more easily. Stretching has also been shown to alleviate pain.

Tight hamstrings in particular can cause lower back pain. By stretching these muscles specifically it can ease the pressure on the lower back.

Improve your Health in general

Yes a bit of a blanket statement and perhaps not the specific advice you were hoping for. However, if you are not looking after your health in general you are much more likely to suffer aches, pains, discomforts and lower back pain. The Spine reflects the overall health of our bodies and it’s important to look after it. Obesity can cause us lower back pain, not to mention the other negative connotations it can have. Try to drink lots of water (2 litres a day), avoid excessive alcohol consumption and stop smoking!

I know, a lot easier said than done, but if you are experiencing pains and discomforts, you need to do something about it!

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