TIPS FOR BUSINESS EXECUTIVES TO MANAGE BACK PAIN
There is an increase in the number of people suffering from back pain. This is mainly because of sitting for long hours at work and at home. Back pain used to be a common problem with people involved in physical labor such as construction workers.
But nowadays, there are more executives who complain of back pain. Prolonged sitting, a poor posture, overuse of computers, frequent business travel, and unhealthy executive lifestyle are identified as the reasons for this problem.
Causes For Back Pain In Executives
- Sitting for long periods leads to slouching on the keyboard. This causes overstretching of the soft tissues that support the spine causing pain in the back or worsening the already existing pain.
- Holding the telephone between your ear and shoulder also causes strain to the neck and shoulders.
- Lack of movement at the work place puts strain to the back.
- Not eating in time, leads to accumulation of gas in the abdomen and to constipation. These factors worsen back pain and are often the precipitating causes.
- Constant stress that is experienced by many business executives creates spasm in the muscles and leads to back pain. This is worsened if the person is depressed due to not being able to reach targets or for any other reason.
Tips To Manage Back Pain
- Stay active to reduce back pain
- Strengthening the core muscles through exercise, yoga, Pilates, etc. will naturally improve your posture and reduce pain.
- Prolonged sitting increases stress in the back, shoulders, and arms. Try standing, stretching, and walking every half hour for at least a minute or two. This will keep the ligaments, muscles, and tendons flexible
- Get the right ergonomic office chair and desk
- It is very important that the chair that you sit on offers good lumbar support with a natural forward curve at belly button level. Even a pillow or rolled up towel behind the back will help.
- The chair height must be adjusted in such a way that you can keep your feet flat and your knees at 90-degree angle.
- Lowering or removing the armrests of the chair will help in maintaining the arm at 90-degree angle, which in turn will hold the shoulders low. This will support the upper back immensely.
- The monitor should be at about arms length away and at or slightly below eye level. This will encourage you to sit back instead of leaning forward and reduces neck strain.
- Optimize your phone calls
- Use a headset or speakerphone instead of tucking the phone between the head and shoulder. This will not put strain on the neck and shoulder muscles.
- Hold the phone in your hand and keep alternating between left and right sides throughout the conversation.
- After the first two days, you can use 20-minute session of heat pack. Heat helps in increasing the blood flow and loosening the tightness of the muscles.
- Prepare adequately during travel
- The seats of cars, trains, and planes may not provide adequate back support. A lumbar support pillow might help in supporting the lower back. Even a jacket or blanket would do the trick if you not want to carry your own pillow. A travel pillow might be very useful in case of long flights to prevent neck strain.
- Also provide adequate support for your feet when sitting to avoid strain to your back.
- Light baggage will definitely help prevent straining your back.
- Maintain a good posture.
- Move as much as possible as sitting can cause stiffness. If possible, you can even do light stretches to relieve the stiffness.
- Sleep better for back pain relief
Try and get a good night’s sleep by trying to lie on your side and placing a pillow between the knees to keep the spine in neutral position and relieve strain on the back.
- Stretch and exercise daily
A few minutes of stretching exercise, done, early in the morning, goes a long way in preventing a lot of problems with the back. Light, low-impact aerobic exercises and strengthening exercises are to be added to keep the bones and muscles strong in the long run.