When you have chronic back pain, your daily routine can get complex—but there are simple things you can do every day to help ease the pain.
1. Support your spine at your desk
Sitting for prolonged periods of time can seriously aggravate your back pain. This is because sitting places a significant amount of pressure on your back muscles and spinal discs.
Furthermore, sitting in a hunched-forward position can overstretch your spinal ligaments and place even more stress on your spinal discs.
Here are a few tips to help support your lower back while you sit:
- Adjust your office chair so your knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle.
- 2 fingers should slip easily between the bottom of your thigh and your chair.
- The backrest of your chair should push your lower back forward slightly. You can use a small pillow if your chair does not provide this support.
- Place support under your feet to elevate them slightly. Sitting with your knees slightly higher than your hips eliminates some of the pressure on your lumbar spine.
- Your back and buttocks should be pressed against your chair for support.
- Keep your chin pulled in and your head tall.
- Sit as close to your desk as possible.
- Adjust you computer screen so it is at eye level.
In addition, you may also find relief through an unusual office set-up. For example, using a standing desk or sitting on a yoga ball may bring much-needed relief from your chronic back pain.
Even if you sit with perfect posture, your lower back still needs to move. So make sure to get up and move around every 30 minutes while at the office.
2. Engage in low-impact aerobic exercise
You may be able to minimize your chronic lower back pain by engaging in a regular routine of low-impact aerobic exercise.
Low-impact aerobic exercise provides support for your back by strengthening your lower back muscles. In addition, it also offers the following benefits:
- Fewer and less intense episodes of lower back pain
- Increased likelihood of maintaining day-to-day functionality
- Decreased stress on your lumbar spine (as exercise helps you to control your weight)
- Decreased pain levels thanks to the release of pain-fighting endorphins
There are numerous options for engaging in low-impact aerobic exercise, including riding an exercise bike, using an elliptical machine, and walking. If these options prove to be to hard on your lower back, you can give water therapy a try.
You can begin with as little as 5 minutes of low-impact aerobic exercise, and slowly build your way up to 30 to 45 minutes (4 to 5 days per week).
Adopting good posture and engaging in exercise may seem like small changes, but they provide needed support for your lower back. In turn, you may find substantial relief from your chronic lower back pain.