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When you spend long hours working on your computer, whether at a desk or curled up on your couch, it can wreak havoc on your back. Your muscles may jam and nerves flare-up. Some people even develop conditions like a herniated disk. Poor posture and lack of back support are usually the culprits (when it’s not an injury or illness-related). Having a difficult job tends to exacerbate the problem, causing a build-up of stress. Maeband offers some advice on how to care for your spine and avoid back pain when you’re working from home.
Adjust your posture
The way you sit at your disk – or stand, walk, and sleep, for that matter – determines how much pressure you put on your back. If you push your shoulder back, with your buttocks touching the back of your chair, you put the least amount of stress on your back. Cleveland Clinic offers a full-fledged guide on maintaining appropriate posture, standing, or sitting.
Get a chair (and desk) that supports your back
Sometimes it’s not your posture to blame but the furniture you use. It may be cramped, not well-designed, and unsuitable for work. Consider getting an ergonomic chair or desk to support your posture — this is especially true if you’re working at your desk while pregnant. Make sure your monitor is at eye level at all times when you type. Limit the time you spend on your couch or lying in your bed while you work – it can be hell on your back.
Build stronger back muscles with targeted exercising
Back exercises make a huge difference. They allow you to build stronger muscles, make your back more flexible, promote blood flow, take your spine and back through the motions it needs to remain healthy, and greatly ease the pain. You can get good back exercise through sports like swimming, running, and even walking. Alternatively, you can opt for a more targeted exercise routine that’s focused on your back, like specific yoga positions, planking, or other routines.
For most people, exercising can be boring and it’s hard to do day in and day out. Music can be your best friend here – it keeps you motivated and engaged. You can listen to music through a pair of good sports-ready headphones.
Outsource to help reduce stress
We carry stress in our necks and backs, which is why it’s important to find ways to reduce stress. If you run your own business from home, one way to cut down on those stress levels is to outsource some of your work. With some responsibilities off your plate, you may discover that it’s easier to relax. If you’re worried about the price of outsourcing work, don’t be; thanks to the internet, you can find affordable freelancers from around the world. What’s more, websites make it easier than ever to send money to your workers; for example, if you hire a virtual assistant in India, you can use websites like Remitly to effortlessly send money — often within the span of a few minutes.
Get a good massage
If you’re going to a chiropractor, you can pair it up with massage therapy (chiropractors often advise this) for added results. PARC Ontario says there are multiple back massages therapies you can try, ranging from energizing Swedish massages to trigger point therapy.
Change your mattress and pillow
A too-soft mattress and pillow can push your spine into unnatural positions when you sleep, which can make existing back pain worse. Many firm mattresses go soft with time – they have a limited shelf life (typically 10-20 years) and need to be changed afterward. Getting a firmer mattress or pillow will provide your body with the resistance and pushback it needs. Consider getting an orthopedic mattress if you do, which is specially designed to support your back.
Be careful when lifting heavy objects
Lastly, you may be lifting with your back when you bend down and pick up heavy objects (like grocery bags). Instead of lifting from your back, keep it straight, bend your legs with your feet apart, squat, and lift from your legs, advises Verywell Fit. This will keep you from putting too much strain on your back and pulling a muscle.
To be well and truly get rid of back pain – and to make sure it stays gone – you may need to adjust your lifestyle. Exercise and build up a strong body, be mindful of your posture, and eat balanced meals. It will not only keep your spine in good health but your body too.
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