5 Ways to Fix Back Pain in The Office
Great advice on how to eliminate back pain if you spend most of your life at a desk!
co written by Aaron Kiegaldie & Tim Hosking
It is inevitable that most of us who are bound to office-based desk jobs will experience back pain in some way shape or form. The body was not designed to sit for extended periods of time, however the demands of the every day office job require us to do so at the detriment of the health of our backs.
The below outlines 5 tips you can implement in your office to help alleviate back pain as a result of sitting down for long periods of time.
1. GLUTE ACTIVATION | KEEP A BAND AT WORK
Glute and Core Activation is a crucial component of maintaining a healthy, happy back. Excessive sitting causes a lack of activity within the Glute’s due to the time they spend in a lengthened position whilst seated. Over-activity and shortening of the hip flexor complex inhibits the hips ability to extend (Glute Max major function), meaning not only is the muscle lacking in activity, the body now cannot perform the movement that the muscle is primarily responsible for – rendering Glute Max basically useless. This generally means the lower-back is overworking, which can lead to pain. The video below demonstrates some simple Glute Activation exercises you can complete in the office in order to maintain a healthy pelvis and a happy back.
2. NAVAL RETRACTION | CORE ACTIVATION
One simple tip that can be implemented whilst seated, standing, walking, or exercising is retraction of the naval/stomach. Retracting the naval creates intra-abdominal pressure, which assists in activating Transversus Abdominus – TVA (major muscle of the ‘core’). The TVA which makes up the bulk of the core musculature is often very weak in people suffering from ongoing bouts of back pain. Retracting the naval increases intra-abdominal pressure and if performed correctly, will instantly improve posture and alleviate tension felt in the back.
3. BREATHING TECHNIQUES
Following on from the previous point on ‘Naval Retraction’ – Breathing techniques can also be implemented in conjunction with TVA activation. Breathing deep into the ribcage will assist in creating a powerful activation of the TVA, whilst retracting will assist in activation the diaphragm(which plays a major role in alleviating back pain). Practice inhaling for 4 seconds, holding the retraction and breathe for 7 seconds and exhaling for 8 seconds.
4. KEEP A SPIKEY BALL AT WORK
Self release work can be one of the easiest ways to not only alleviate back related issues, but also any form of pain! Using the ball to hold sustained pressure on areas of pain will help decrease pain, but also increase mobility and function. The ball can be used whilst seated, standing, lying down – anything you want! Just make sure you hold sustained pressure on a painful area, long enough to allow the body to release tension felt within the area.
5. STANDING UP DESK | WORK STATION
HR departments are becoming more aware of the health concerns of sitting for long periods of time in front of a computer. If you can manage to break up your day with periods of standing whilst tapping away at your computer this will drastically reduce the chance of you contracting back pain though poor posture whilst sitting .
Remember to do something today that your future self will thank you for.