We’ve all been there..sitting at our desk for longer than we want. Caught in a meeting that we can’t get out of and has gone on longer than ever imagined. Driving and caught in traffic with no end in sight. And then it happens…
Your back starts to get sore. Not terrible. But, at first you notice it. It is just stiff and sore and wants you to stand up. So you start slowly moving in your chair. But as time goes on the pain begins to intensify. Getting worse and worse with every passing minute and you can’t concentrate on work anymore because your back is throbbing. All you want to do is go lay down and take some of the pressure off the back.
But you can’t just go and lay down or stop working..so now what?
Imagine if you didn’t have the option to just keep pushing through the pain, that you literally were unable to sit and you had to leave work? Imagine if that back soreness or stiffness became back pain that you were unable to provide any relief to no matter how many times you adjusted in your chair. Imagine that you had to go for routine shots in your back just to be able to get through the day.
I know, everyone says the same thing, that will never happen to me.
Well after 20 years in practice, I assure, chronic, debilitating back pain does not start off that way. It starts off as stiffness and soreness that is ignored. The stiffness and soreness gets worse until you can’t work or do anything you enjoy. This is how most chronic back pain comes to be. It isn’t some accident at work in or a car that completely debilitates you, it is simply pain that was ignored until it could not be ignored any more.
There are 3 simple exercises that you can do at work to help relieve that pain. Now this is not the only solution, changing your posture, going from sitting to standing, and other changes need to also occur. But the first step to take is to make sure that you doing what you can to relieve back pain when it comes on. If you do not, you keep the pain cycle going and this can cause a life of medications, injections and even surgery.
One of the things you can do right away is you can get up every 15 minutes. I’m not talking about getting up go get a drink at the water fountain or talk to you friends. This “break” is simply standing up at your desk, or getting up and walking around your chair, doing some type of movement. Put a pop up reminder so you remember to do this every 15 minutes.
Find little ways throughout your day to implement a change in position so that way every time that one thing occurs, you know you have to stand up. For example, every time the phone rings, you stand up. Or during every phone conference you stand up and walk around your chair. Just something simple that doesn’t require a lot of thought but does allow for you to get up and change positions.
If you’ve had stiffness for a while it might take you a little bit longer to really get that blood flowing so make sure that you move around, walk or stand and shift weight back and forth, until you feel the back open up. Any type of movement is going to allow the back to have a rush of blood, it’s going to allow those muscles to feel better.
I know it is very very easy but a lot of people over look it because they just keep plowing through the day and through the pain. But in reality you are getting less done because your brain will begin to focus on the pain in the back and not on what you are doing. So in taking a “break” or giving your self a chance to stand up, will actually allow you to get more work done then if you just sit there and try to plow through the pain.
The second thing you want to do is to drop your leg underneath your chair. You can watch the video here to see what I am talking about. And yes this violates the feet flat on the floor rule, I know. But it’s okay it’s not going to mess anything up and actually what it does is it pulls your pelvis forward so you don’t have to do anything to sit up straight.
If you want to try that right now all you have to do is put your foot behind your chair or underneath your chair. You can hook your foot onto the back leg if you are able to. This posture is going to pull your pelvis forward and you’re going to be able to relieve some of that stress on the back without having to feel like you have to sit in military style attention.
This is not designed to be done all day. But it is great to throw in there every couple hours or when you are caught in a meeting or just are unable to stand up. It shouldn’t be replaced for a stand or a walk but this is just a great way to be able to adjust your posture during the day if you can’t stand up.
The final thing you can do right now, which is one of my favorites, is to cross your ankle over your knee in a figure 4 position, sit up straight and then lean forward. You should feel a gentle stretch in the back, the back of the leg, and in the butt. You may feel a stretch with just crossing your ankle over your knee. You want to hold it for 30 seconds and perform 6 on each leg.
Here’s another thing about this stretch – if you have problems getting into this position, for example you have to pull on your pant leg to get your ankle on top of the knee, then there’s a problem and that problem is not just back pain.
Addressing back pain when you start to feel it, is the best thing you can do to make sure that you do not live a life full of medications, injections and surgeries. And getting an accurate diagnosis is half the battle when dealing with back pain. If you would like to have a free 3 point back pain package, just click here and enter your information!