Sometimes, no matter how fit and healthy you are, it can seem like there is no escape from back pain. However, experiencing regular back pain or intermittent back pain doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a bad back – it’s often just the things you do to it that cause it to hurt or ache.
When at work there are very few jobs that exist, which don’t require the use of your back. Even (and sometimes especially), if your back is only being mobilised whilst you’re sitting at a desk, it’s still in use. Few people give their backs any thought throughout the working day, but here are 5 things that you could be doing that are damaging yours on a daily basis:
Back pain from twisting
Here’s a scenario: you have a fantastic, comfortable chair but you’re sitting with your back to someone who regularly asks you questions at work. Repetitive twisting around or leaning sideways to see or speak to someone, instead of utilising the chair properly, can cause your back to become strained or for muscles to become stronger or weaker on one side.
The solution here would be to either change where you are sitting, or the direction you are facing, to prevent strain. If this scenario sounds familiar but with the exception of a comfy chair, then make sure that you also have a chair that is supporting your back, with good lumbar support. It should allow you to sit with your legs at a ninety-degree angle with your feet on the floor for extra stability.
Back pain from leaning forwards
Similar to the above scenario, leaning forwards so that your back is hunched will almost always cause discomfort. You should be able to sit comfortably with your shoulders back, your lower back fully supported and your screen about an arm’s width away.
If you have to lean forwards to see information on a screen, then either increase the zoom on your screen or wear reading glasses. Don’t compromise your back instead.
Back pain from lifting
Picking something up in a way that doesn’t support your back can cause significant pain and discomfort. Sometimes you won’t know that you’ve hurt your back until the next day, so if you’re lifting something particularly heavy or awkward and find that your back is straining at all, either ask someone to help you or check that your lifting positioning is correct.
Many people lean down and use their back to lift them back up, or carry heavy items in a way that puts strain on their back. Instead, make sure that your legs are bent low and use them to help you to lift a heavy item, rather than relying on your back. Also make sure that if the way that you’re holding something hurts your back or your shoulders, stop and readjust it.
Back pain from repetition
Sometimes, just doing something like clicking a mouse over and over again without any rest can cause back pain. Firstly, make sure that you’re not having to lean forwards or to the side to reach your mouse. Secondly, make sure that you take regular breaks if you’re sitting clicking a mouse or typing for long periods of time. Getting up and moving around, especially if you’re feeling tension in your back or shoulders, can be a big help.
Back pain from driving
If your work day involves a lot of driving, particularly if it’s driving over bumpy, uneven ground, your back may feel stiff and uncomfortable after a while. Make sure that you take breaks to get out of the car and walk around and if your back does start to hurt, try to plan your route to avoid twisty routes with uneven surfaces.
Advice about back pain at work
At Positura, we work with both individuals and employers to ensure that the workplace is as healthy and pain free as possible. Applying decades of experience in chiropractic alongside ergonomic and work-station assessments, we work with you to prevent work related injuries and to help treat the symptoms of any that have already arisen.
If you are experiencing back pain at work, give us a call and we will carry out an individual assessment for you at your work place. Call Tracy on: 07794 311201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment.