Pain Free Working

How to Relieve Back Pain at Work: 3 Exercises

In today’s fast-paced work environments, many individuals grapple with the challenge of managing chronic back pain while navigating long periods of sitting in one position. This prevalent issue not only impacts physical well-being but can also take a toll on mental health, potentially leading to mood disorders. Maintaining optimal spine health is essential for overall wellness, yet the demands of modern work often strain this delicate balance. 

However, by implementing targeted strategies, particularly focusing on strengthening core muscles and adopting ergonomic practices, individuals can effectively alleviate and prevent back pain in the workplace. In this article, we’ll explore practical tips to help alleviate chronic pain and promote a healthier, more comfortable work experience.

How Do I Stop My Back From Hurting at Work?

One of the most effective ways to prevent back aches at work is by strengthening your core muscles. A strong core provides stability and support to your spine, reducing the risk of injury and discomfort. Here are some exercises that you can do during short breaks at work to reduce back ache:

Seated Neck and Back Bend

Being in front of the computer for hours doesn’t only lead to backache but neck pain as well. This movement can help improve your posture and reduce hunching. Sit at the edge of your chair with your back straight as your starting stance. Next, place your arms slightly behind you, grasping the edge of the chair. Cross your right leg over your left.

Then, connect the outer ankle of your right leg to the outside shin of your left leg. Next, slowly arch your entire back by keeping your arms straight and pressing down on your hands. Inhale as you do. Tense your abs and keep your core engaged. Stay like that for 5 seconds, slowly breathing in and out. Afterward, slowly return to the starting pose and repeat on the opposite side.

Twister Pose

Stand straight with your feet together and your hands at the sides. Bend your knees and sit low until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Next, bring your hands together at your chest, similar to a prayer stance. Twist your torso to the right. Your left shoulder should be outside your left knee while your right elbow points upwards. Stay in this stance for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then repeat on the other side.

Side Bend

Inhale and reach your right arm up and over the head, slowly bending to the left with your left arm hanging by your side. Take about five deep breaths and then repeat on the opposite side. You can do this standing or seated.

How Do I Deal with Backache on an 8-Hour Shift at Work?

There are several factors that can lead you to develop backache, and one of them is sitting at your desk for long hours. It’s inevitable, given that a lot of office workers have desk jobs, but there are things that you can do to protect your back while you work. 

Support Your Spine

Supporting the natural curve of your spine is the number one thing that you should take note of. Your desk chair should have lumbar support that will allow you to maintain proper posture while you’re typing away.

Adjust the Height of Your Chair

Sit as close to your desk as comfortably as you can. Doing so will prevent you from slouching, saving your back from pain. To ensure that your chair is at the right height, place your hands on the surface of your desk and place your upper arms parallel to your back. Your elbows should form a 90-degree angle. If your elbows hang lower than the surface of your desk, adjust the height of your chair until your arms are at the correct angle.

Adjust Your Armrest

Aside from the height of your chair, its armrests should also be adjusted to slightly lift your shoulders. This will reduce the strain placed on your upper half and will make you less likely to slouch forward.

Determine Your Resting Eye Level

While you’re seated in your chair, close your eyes for a moment and slowly open them. Your gaze should be on your computer screen when you open your eyes. If the screen isn’t aligned with the level of your gaze and if you sense that you’re tilting your neck lower or higher, you will need to make adjustments accordingly.

Take the Time to Rest

Taking regular breaks can greatly help in reducing pains and aches. One of the best things you can do once every hour is to stand and stretch. Place your hands on your lower back and gently arch backward to release some of the tension in your back. If you have long breaks, use the time to get away from your desk and take walks or do a couple of exercise movements to make you feel refreshed and can help you maintain a healthy weight as well. 

How to Alleviate Back Pain in 5 Minutes

To alleviate back pain in just five minutes, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Begin with gentle stretching to alleviate tension in your muscles, focusing on your lower back, neck, and surrounding areas. Slowly bend your knees and lower your upper body toward the floor, allowing your arms to hang loosely. Feel the gentle pull in your leg muscles and lumbar area as you hold this position briefly. 

Next, slowly roll your shoulders backward in circular motions to release tension in the upper back. Engage in gentle side-to-side stretches, reaching towards each foot to further alleviate tightness. Finally, return to a standing position and take a few deep breaths, focusing on relaxing any remaining areas of tension.

What to Do When Your Back Hurts So Bad You Can’t Walk?

When experiencing intense back pain that hinders you from walking, it’s crucial to approach the situation with care. Firstly, try to stand if possible, using nearby support if needed. Avoid forcing movement if it exacerbates the pain. Instead, focus on gentle stretches and movements that don’t aggravate the back further. If attempting to walk is too painful, refrain from pushing through it. Instead, consider utilizing supportive aids like crutches or a walker to assist with mobility. 

In severe cases, it may be necessary to seek immediate medical attention to address the underlying cause of the pain. While resting, try to keep your legs and feet elevated to alleviate pressure on the lower back and promote circulation. It’s essential to point out any worsening symptoms or changes in sensation to a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and treatment.

Final Note

Integrating simple yet effective practices such as maintaining good posture into daily routines can significantly reduce the incidence and severity of backache, fostering a more comfortable and productive work environment. Additionally, combining these efforts with ergonomic adjustments to workstations and incorporating targeted workouts can further enhance back health and overall well-being in the workplace.

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.