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  • Writer's pictureRehabon Physical Therapy

How to prevent that low back pain at work (Desk work)?

Research shows that 60% of working professionals will experience some form of low back pain once in their lifetime. If you sit for more than 4–6hrs/day, you need to reassess, how you are spending that time.

There are five ways you can prevent it before you become the victim of low back pain statistics repetitively.

1. Pacing at work:

Try to learn to pace yourself from that screen time, phone time. I usually advice my clients to stand for 20 mins and sit for 30 mins (20–30 Rule). We are not superhuman, we all need strategy. You know, you could stand during that corporate phone meeting too.

2. Change your daily work routine:

I am not talking about your project deadline here. Surprise your body by conducting meeting half standing/half sitting. Conduct walk/talk meetings. Invest in adjustable or standing desk. If there is a $$$ issue, talk to your HR/Wellness Department or boss directly that it would be a good idea to have a standing desk between 3–5 employees to share on a daily basis.

3. Establish simple stretches during day:

We are busy creatures. Between, family, friends and work responsibilities your body is not getting enough mobility. Due to prolonged sitting posture, front of the body muscles gets weak (jiggly abdominals) and back muscles are overused and over stretched.

4. Take a short walk during your break:

Nothing big, research shows that walking for 10 mins during your work shift will add benefits to your low back pain. If weather permits, tell your boss to conduct that boring quarterly meeting outdoors or while taking leisurely stroll or around a peaceful public park.

5. Hydrate and nourish your body:

We all have been told to drink water before you feel thirsty. It’s true for low back pain too because your joints including your spine needs constant hydration. surprisingly, lot of people forget to drink water at work. Yes!! It is about time to use that gift card for local yoga studio or joining the gym to swim.

If you are still experiencing that pain, it's time to talk to your physical therapist or primary care physician. Try to stay away from narcotics, injections and knife happy surgeons as a primary option for your treatment. There are no magic bullets but majority of low back pain symptoms can be resolved with conservative measures like exercises, manual therapy and pain management.

*My lawyer told me to inform you that this is an informative article not a medical advice.

-- Irfan Ibrahim is an Owner/Physical Therapist at Rehabon Physical Therapy, Downers Grove IL 60515. He enjoys sunshine and rainbows with his three children. Loves hiking, biking and golfing but he has accepted to live with his mediocre skills. Questions??!! Email him: follow him on Facebook

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