Tips To Avoid Back Pain During COVID Lockdown
Five tips to avoid back pain during COVID lockdown:
For most of us lockdown has taken a toll on our normal activity levels. If you are working from home your daily commute is gone and so is the activity associated with it. You are likely noticing new aches and pains that you did not have pre-lockdown. Sitting for hours and hours hunched over your kitchen countertop, dinning room or sofa staring at your laptop motionless is not great for your joints.
A survey published by the Opinium for the charity Versus Arthritis found that working from home, four in five people develop musculoskeletal pain. “Lower back pain was the most common complaint identified by the charity’s survey, with 50% of respondents reporting this, followed by neck pain (36%) and shoulder pain (28%).”
Even after the pandemic has passed, some ergonomic experts suggest “remote working is likely to remain the norm for millions of workers”.
Osteopaths and other back pain experts suggest people with serious pain or persistent pain to seek medical advice. However, there are a few simple things that we can do at home to avoid back pain during lockdown.
RULE #1: Avoid sitting for long periods of time!
Prolonged sitting overloads the spinal discs, facets and places your muscles and ligaments at a constant stretch, lowering the threshold for strain. Also, ligaments placed under constant stretch undergo deformation, and given enough time they will micro tear. Finally, muscles placed under constant stretch atrophy, lengthen and weaken. This will cause pain and discomfort given a bit of time, not much, and starting a cascade of degeneration events.
Movement brings fresh blood to the muscles, spinal joints and it lubricates them; washing away metabolic waste products. Therefore it is imperative that you take sitting breaks often.
- Set an alarm every 20-30 minutes on your phone or computer. A mover reminder
- Make sure your workspace is comfortable.
- Pour yourself smaller drinks so that you have to get up an refill often
- Take phone calls standing
- Do some simple desk exercises (more below)