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Lockdown has become a part of our daily lives for the last few weeks, but with increased time at home sitting down it might be quite likely you’ve started to experience lower back pain from any daily activities you’ve been doing around the house. Today we’re going through what you can do to avoid experiencing lower back pain during this time, as well as how you can help it if you’ve already started experiencing some back trouble.

The majority of patients visiting the clinic have back pain. They visit our clinic for our expertise and the fantastic treatment technologies that we use. In order to help those patients outside the treatment time when they’re at home, we teach them certain principles and provide specific exercises that help reinforce and compliment treatment. These practices at home are relevant to you & can really help prevent and avoid back pain especially in these trying times!

Why Do We Get Back Pain When Sitting?

We’ve already mentioned sitting as a big contributor to back pain when working at home, but why is this the case? It’s common when we sit to round the back – both at the neck and the lower back – into a slouching position. This can often be comfortable, especially if you do it regularly, but it can put a great deal of stress on your spine and the surrounding muscles, which can cause you to experience aching or pain in the back. If you’re currently spending a lot of time sitting, whether that’s at your kitchen table working or on the sofa, make sure you’re being fidgety and taking regular breaks. You’ll also want to try and ensure you’re adopting a good posture. This often goes without saying, but it can be very challenging if it’s something you’ve neglected in recent times. Making it a habit to regularly check in with yourself during the day to remind yourself to correct your posture can be helpful, as it is quite common to let this slip. When you’ve made rounded posture a habit, it can be uncomfortable to sit with good posture but this will pass once you’ve restrengthened these postural muscles.

How To Maintain Good Posture While Working

Your lumbar spine is supposed to have a nice smooth curve or arch – this is why chairs will often have an inwards curve at the bottom to provide lumbar support. If you’re lucky enough to be working from home with a chair that has lumbar support, make sure you’re pushing your bottom right into the back underneath that lumbar support, so that your back is in a good position. If you don’t have one of these chairs, rolling up a towel and placing it in the small of your back just above where your belt would sit, will help you to maintain that nice curve in the lower back. For your upper back, make sure that your back is straight, your shoulders back and your head is in a neutral position above the shoulders, neither looking up or down at your computer/laptop screen. If you’re working from the kitchen table, having the computer at the right height might be a challenge, but you can always sit your monitor or laptop on some books to raise it to the right level. If your day-to-day involves driving, we went through how you should set up your car seat for better posture on a recent livestream, which you can find here.

Wearing A Belt With Lower Back Pain

Another thing to consider is whether you regularly wear a belt during the day. If you’re wearing a belt around the house and you have back pain, this might be something to reconsider. Belts generally sit in the middle of your lower back, level with the glutes but this results in shortening the muscle and limiting your range of movement. This can directly impact the pressure on your back. Instead, try wearing trousers that have a little more give to them in the meantime that don’t require you to wear a belt.

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What Exercises Should I Do For Lower Back Pain?

Flexibility can also play a big role in your back health and your ability to perform daily activities. Often when people perform a simple exercise such as a squat, the impact of your hip flexibility can be very indicative from how much range of motion you have. If you’re not sure what exercises you can do to help improve your flexibility, sign up to our free membership area at www.backinshapeapp.com – we recommend what stretches are going to be the most impactful for you if you’re struggling with your back. When bending forwards, a lot of people tend to do this by flopping themselves forward at the waist instead of hinging at the hips. If you’re integrating one of the thousands of home workout videos that have exploded in popularity on social media over the last few weeks, make sure that if you do have back pain that you’re not integrating flexion movements into your workout routine. Equally, if you use weights for your workout, make sure that you’re performing the exercise with good form and placing the weight safely onto the floor with good posture as well. Often people will pick up a weight or flop the weight back down by rounding the spine over, which may not cause you pain at the time but might start to affect you after a number of times or doing this, the next day or after a few days of doing this each morning. Kneeling to pick up the weights and squatting or deadlifting to put a weight down is good. If in doubt, keep the spine vertical to stop too much stress going through the spine.

Can Posture Supports Help Lower Back Pain?

Finally, if your lower back has been troublesome, do refrain from buying products such as waist trainers, lumbar supports, posture supports or weightlifting belts to help. Training the muscles that are weak, rather than buying a product to do the muscle’s job is going to be much more worth your time. Knowing what exercises to do can be a challenge, again if you need the help we do have lots of information on postural exercises on our YouTube channel and available on our membership website. Weightlifting belts and lumbar support belts tend to put a great deal of pressure either side of where they sit, which is usually at the bottom of the lower back. This area is already subjected to a lot of pressure so they’re not going to be helpful for you in the long run. Furthermore, posture trainers that sit on the shoulders are equally as unhelpful as again they’re doing the job that your postural muscles are supposed to be doing. With all of these trainers, they take over the job of your muscles which will mean that they continue to weaken beyond the point they’re at now. If you look at someone wearing a cast, the muscle deterioration in that area can be quite significant when they eventually have it removed. We have heard of circumstances where patients have worn electronic stickers that buzz when their posture has slipped, this type of product might be more helpful as it’s bringing your attention to the problem rather than fixing it.

We hope this article has been helpful for you! Don’t forget, for more information about cases of back and neck pain or to ask any questions, tune in to our live videos on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram every weekday at 1:00pm. You can request topics for us to cover and ask questions directly to our lead practitioner, Michael Fatica. To sign up to our free membership area for back pain help, visit www.backinshapeapp.com or to learn more about the conditions we treat at the clinic, visit www.themayfairclinic.com.

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