Treating the Backache Which Results From Hours of Office Sitting
In order to avoid the backache, which can come from sitting in front of a computer for long hours at a time, there are several strategies you can take advantage of. First and foremost, be aware that the Department of Health recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, spread throughout the week, as well as strength-training exercises one to two times per week.
Ideally, you will combine aerobic exercises such as swimming or walking with stretching and strengthening exercises such as yoga or weight lifting. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight can significantly reduce the stress and strain on your back, so if you are overweight, start taking small steps toward reducing your weight.
Posture is Important
Pay attention to your posture; when you are sitting, lean back slightly, and when you are standing, make a conscious effort to push your shoulders back and straighten your back. Your office chair should allow you to keep both feet comfortably flat on the floor, and your knees level with your hips. If your office chair does not offer lumbar support, put a rolled-up towel or small pillow behind your lower back to reduce the pressure. If you are in the market for a new office chair, choose it wisely, and spend extra to get a supportive, sturdy chair
While prevention is better, it's possible you will find yourself needing to treat a backache. For mild-to moderate back pain, over the counter painkillers can be effective, however read the label and don't overuse as this can cause liver problems. Some studies have noted that over-use of ibuprofen may cause unhealthy rises in blood pressure, so check with your doctor to see if using an OTC painkiller is safe for you.
Try a chiropractor for chronic back pain. Typically it can take between two and six sessions to see real results, although many people swear by chiropractic treatments. Once your spine is in alignment, seeing your chiropractor once a month or so may be enough. Some insurance plans will pay for chiropractic care, however if yours does not, the typical cost is around $50 per session.
Many people who have chronic back pain have regular acupuncture treatments. During acupuncture, very thin needles are inserted under the skin with a goal of blocking the nerve endings which are radiating the pain through your spine. Acupuncturists believe that this type of pain relief also allows the body to release its own pain-relieving chemicals known as endorphins, so if you have chronic back pain, acupuncture may be worth a try, though like chiropractic treatments, it generally takes two to three sessions before relief is felt.
Your doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant to be taken for short amounts of time and reduce the painful muscle spasms in your back, and if your pain is severe may prescribe oral steroids for inflammation.
Some people who suffer from chronic back pain swear by natural remedies, one of which is drinking honey in warm water first thing in the morning. Another natural remedy is to eat two to three garlic cloves each morning, and massage garlic oil into the back, however you may find people avoiding you after such treatment. Applying a raw potato poultice can be helpful in some cases, as can cooking natural oats to a mush and applying on your back for at least twenty minutes.
Otherwise, you should get plenty of exercise, as well as enough rest to lessen back pain. A firm mattress is best for those with back pain, and sleeping on the side can lessen pain. If you stand or sit for long periods, change positions and take a short break at least every 45 minutes.
Try to avoid stress to the extent possible by implementing deep-breathing exercises or talking about the stressful situations in your life with a trusted friend. It's imperative that you take good care of your back, especially when your job requires you to sit for long periods of time.