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3 Tips for Fighting Back Pain at Work

Posted on behalf of Atlanta Orthopedic Surgeon

lowerbackIf you live with chronic back or spinal pain, sitting at your desk all day can be tough. It can be even worse if you have to suffer a long commute to get to and from the office each day.

Sitting for prolonged periods of time puts double the pressure on your spine as standing -- pressure that's made even worse when we slouch from poor posture. Slouching also overstretches ligaments and muscles in the back because of the "bent-forward" curve, and this can trigger back pain.

The disks of our spine also don't get the nutrients they need because we're stuck in a seated position for hours on end. Movement is key to getting blood, oxygen, and other nutrients circulating through our spines.

Luckily, you can fight back against desk fatigue during the work day with these tips:

Stand up and walk around. One of the easiest ways to relieve back tension and pain is to get up and move around. Stand up and clasp your hands behind your back for a quick stretch. Go for a short walk at least once every hour, if you can, to help loosen your hamstrings and hip flexors and lighten the load on your back.

Get a lumbar roller or cushion. By placing one of these, or a rolled up blanket or pillow, in your desk chair, you're encouraging your back to maintain a more natural curvature.

Set up your desk space to be more back friendly. Make sure you aren't leaning forward to see your computer screen, and have the screen at a level that allows you to look straight ahead with your ears and neck lined up right above your shoulders. Also, try and keep your feet flat on the floor when you're in your chair. This can help relieve hip tension.

You can also pack a pain relieving lunch, and drink plenty of water. Water and inflammation-reducing foods such as whole wheat breads and crackers, snackable fruits and veggies, omega-3-rich nuts and seeds, and lean proteins help fight pain from the inside, keep you hydrated, and help increase the bioavailability of nutrients and minerals that combat pain.

Skip out on the sweets, chips, and other high-sugar, high-fat foods as they've been known to trigger pain and inflammation (they also aren't good for your waist line, and added weight can make back pain worse).

Posted on behalf of Dr. Armin Oskouei, Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians
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