Instead of deciding this is your fate until you finish your working career, have you ever thought about what you can do to help manage it and may not deal with daily pain. How does the back pain affect your mood, attitude towards work, your social life, the actives you participate in? Give this a read and just maybe you will change your mind.
There is no ball and chain like everyone jokes, you can make a change and not sit at your desk for eternity. You work from home 2 days a week? Even better, and easier to implement changes. And if you are telling me you need to sit because you are 100% productive for the 8-10 hours you work a day, I’m calling your bluff and asking you to reevaluate your productivity (and are you not reading this at work?).
How to Manage Back Pain as a Desk Professional
First of all, take the tips below and run with them, however, you may also need to see a PT for a personalized program, especially if you’ve had chronic back pain, recurrent bouts of pain, or other past injuries that impact your pain.
- Start moving your body more regularly. If you have acute low back pain this will mean walking and doing mobility, if you have chronic low level pain, this means gradually getting back into a gym routine.
- Actually get up from your desk. Responding to a text? Looking a TikTok or Reels? Stand up while you take that one to maybe a few too many minute mental break. Joining a virtual meeting that you are not key presenting in? Stand for the meeting. Taking a call with no video requirement? Walk around your office, or an empty conference room. Stay hydrated, keep a large water on your desk (along with your coffee, tea etc, because who has just one drink on their desk at a time), and actually drink it. This will force you to stand to go to the bathroom, and to refill your water.
- What about when I have to sit? Weight shift at your desk. It means, don’t try to sit perfectly upright for the next hour meeting. Change the weight distribution through your spine and hips by shifting your weight forward onto your elbows, leaning to each side etc.
- Work on your sleep and stress management. Just like you are cranky when you don’t sleep enough or are too stressed, so is your body. The threshold of what it can tolerate before acting up decreases, just like you do. Work on managing your stress, and improving your sleep quality will also effect your pain.
- Nutrition. I know you know to “eat healthy”. What does that have to do with pain? It has to do with correlations to inflammation in the body, as well as how you feel. If you just ate a big mac for the 5th day of lunch this week, you are probably not feeling good, and your blood sugar levels have been riding a roller coster. You don’t feel great about yourself, leading to a negative mindset, you are crashing with energy which decreases the chances you will move your body and your are in pain. The cycle will continue to rinse and repeat until you decide to get off of it.
Have you tried these on your own yet? Do you need a personalized program or accountability? Check out my physical therapy services, or add remote programming so you can walk in the gym and know exactly what to do to reach your goals. Schedule a free consult here, or just follow along for my free content on Instagram and Youtube.