Second only to the flu, back pain is a major health-related reason millions of Americans miss work. Most back pain is unrelated to an underlying medical condition.
About 80% of back pain results from sprains, strains, and stress on discs and spinal joints. However, as millions continue to work from home, makeshift offices and generally poor ergonomics (like totally ditching that desk chair for a cushy couch) are compounding lower back woes.
If that sounds like you, these back-health tips will come in handy.
Having an outlet like talking to someone, painting, or going for a walk can relax you, relieving tightness in your midsection, neck, and shoulder, facilitating better back health and overall well-being.
Level your monitor
Use big, sturdy books or a stand to lift your desktop monitor or laptop screen an inch or two below eye level to prevent slouching and take a load off your cervical spine.
Move and groove
If you want to prevent stiffness and improve circulation, don’t stay in the same position for hours. Get moving, even for a gentle stretch.
Prop your feet
A proper footrest under your desk aligns your posture and reduces ankle, knee, and leg pain.
Consider standing to send emails, place phone calls or have short meetings. Standing can strengthen your legs, improve balance and help with posture and back strength.
Tuck a towel
When sitting, place a rolled up bath towel or small pillow at the curve of your back for lumbar support.
Water hydrates your discs, joints and spine, which improves their function and repair cycles, reducing back pain over time.
What about radiology?
Unless you are experiencing progressive neurological deterioration like leg weakness or numbness, loss of balance, problems walking, etc., radiology may not help diagnose your back pain and might needlessly expose you to radiation.
Talk with your doctor about any concerns you may have about your back health. If you need help locating a doctor, call customer service at 800-482-6655.