A trend that we have seen since we were allowed to re-open is a surge in lower back and neck pain. This has typically been linked to the shift to a greater number of people working from home, instead of in their offices. For a lot of people this can be seen as very stressful. There is no longer the divide in home and work life, now there is a combination of both, this leads to more stress being kept in the house rather than being left at work. A change in chair, posture when working, or if you aren’t working a change in your lifestyle can affect the risk of suffering from lower back pain.
What causes lower back pain?
Now there are many reasons why you can be suffering from lower back pain, we will just outline a couple that can cause pain. Ultimately, you should book in and seek professional advice on what is definitively causing your pain. We have outlined 5 possible causes for your lower back pain below.
- Poor lifting techniques
- Repetitive bending
- Poor posture
- Weakness in your core muscle group
- Sedentary/inactive lifestyle
How does the lockdown affect us?
When the country had previously been placed into lockdown there was a great deal of unknowns in the country. Many people being furloughed, universities closing, no physical interactions and the stress of job security became common place. With the majority of workplaces shut down, many people ended up working from home. This meant use of the office chair at a desk that is a specific height to help with your working posture are no more. Dining rooms have become make shift offices, the sofa has become the workplace and the bed has been the office for the morning.
The change in environment has lead to an increase in lower back pain and tight shoulders; with many comments regarding the seat they are using, position they sit in and how the table they use is much lower. So what does this mean? Well the change in seat is something you are not used to, you change your position to get comfy and end up rolling your shoulders forward and slouching over. This then leads to tightness in your shoulders and lower back. You are inactive throughout the day because you have to work, a risk factor for lower back pain, whilst getting the perfect desk height will help you with sitting in a correct and comfy position.
To try help this spend 5 minutes in every hour on stretching, or, on your lunch break go for a walk. This will have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing as well as your physical wellbeing. Having a break from your work and getting into the outdoors will help you to destress and get those muscles working.
How do we find a balance in our daily activities?
One thing we noticed during the first lockdown was there seemed to be two extremes when it came to exercise. With the gyms shut, people either stopped altogether or went hell for leather and did an excessive amount of exercise. You should aim to do a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day. However, if you have set yourself goals, such as to lose weight, then increasing the length of exercise you complete is going to be a necessity.
With the gyms shut, there has been less structure with the exercise completed. A lot of people go to the gym to complete specific exercise classes, such as pilates, but what do you do when this isn’t available. We have joined an online exercise community, that gives us even more support than a gym, whilst also allowing us to meet targets that we want to hit. Whether it is a 21-day transformation or just to feel part of something again it has been fantastic and would recommend it to everyone!
How can you get rid of your lower back pain quickly?
Remedies to get your lower back fixed as quickly and safely as possible will vary person to person. The main piece of advice that may seem counterintuitive but trust me here, get yourself up and moving. Do some stretches that target your legs, glutes and lower back. When it comes to strengthening exercises, these should target the glutes and the core muscle groups.
To go along with this, try change how you sit at your desk, change the height of the desk, get a chair that offers as much support as possible. We are open throughout lockdown, unless told otherwise, so get yourself booked in so we can put together an action plan that can get you back working pain free.