Back Pain & Social Distancing
Part 1: Managing Back Pain while Working from Home
Working from home usually means more time on the computer or your phone than you might normally have. Most of us can spend the entire day hunched over our computers or staring down at our mobile devices.What most of us don’t realize is that the postures we use during these activities can cause serious problems in our spines.
Sometimes our work offices have options to allay these issues (such as spine-supporting chairs, standing desks, or monitor platforms) that we may not have at home.
Over time, this habit of Incorrect posture puts strain on our musculoskeletal systems and eventually contribute to spinal degeneration and damage. Practicing good posture with stretching exercises can help. These exercises ensure that your spine stays strong and healthy.
Stretches You can do Working From Home
Chair Back Stretch
While sitting, reach both hands behind your back and around the office chair. One you have a good hold, arch your back and move your chest forward. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times.
Reach for the Sky
To stretch your back, interlock both hands above your head, palms facing the ceiling. Sit straight up, then push your palms upward and elongate your spine. You should feel a nice stretch in your back. Make sure to keep your shoulders loose and relaxed. Hold for 10 seconds, repeat 5 times.
Chair Lat Stretch
To get a nice lat stretch, raise one arm above your head and bend it slightly across your body. Grab your wrist with the opposite arm and gently tug down to get a deeper stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3-5 times per arm.
Seated Spine Twist
Cross one leg over the other, then twist your body toward the leg that is on top. You can use the arm of the chair to push yourself into a deeper twist if need be. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times each side.
Note: these stretches are merely recommendations. If you feel pain, stop and contact a medical professional.
Diet & Back Pain
Suddenly your office has all the comforts of home. For most of us this includes a kitchen nearby! With the link between weight and back pain, it’s important to monitor your diet while working from home. Some of us may have the urge to snack, so keeping healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables at the ready can go a long way.
Smoking & Back Pain
As hard as it may be to believe, smoking directly affects your blood vessels by narrowing them and hindering blood flow. With reduced blood flow, oxygen and other nutrients aren’t able to reach your spine which can prolong injury and cause increased pain.
Some basic lifestyle adjustments can go a long way toward keeping your spine healthy when working from home. If your back pain persists or becomes impossible to manage, we’re offering enhanced options for people seeking treatment for back, neck, or joint pain during this period of social distancing. Contact our schedulers today to discuss telehealth visits, or to inquire about our screening and safety precautions to keep our patients and staff safe and healthy.