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Back pain – Causes, treatment and prevention

Photo montrant le Prof Kaptain utilisant un un bureau assis-debout Standsome Slim au travail

For many people, chronic back pain is a familiar and annoying problem. It’s no wonder: the rigid posture of sitting for hours on end at work is bad for the body. In this article, we’ve put together some valuable tips for relieving tension.

TYPES OF BACK PAIN: ACUTE OR CHRONIC BACK PAIN

In most cases, back or neck pain is only a minor problem. It will resolve itself after a few days, even without medical treatment. However, if the back pain becomes more frequent, lasts longer and has not gone away after twelve weeks, there is a risk that the pain will become chronic. Unfortunately, this is a familiar situation for many people. In addition, back pain becomes more common with age. Unless you take steps to prevent it.

THE CAUSES: WHERE DOES BACK PAIN COME FROM?

Often, back pain can be psychosomatic and psychosocial in nature. Who doesn’t know that stress, depression, dissatisfaction or sometimes, admittedly, lovesickness?

Psychosomatic disorders usually appear when you experience periods of stress that are too long. These psychological backaches usually affect the lumbar region (danger: lumbar spine syndrome).

But as a rule, they are caused by the way you treat your body: If you do not move or move too little, your muscles are weakened. The result: painful tension. As you may have guessed, this is exactly what happens when your body stays in the same posture at your desk for hours on end at work.

Common causes of back pain:

  • Too little exercise and posture problems.
  • Weak or overworked muscles.
  • Herniated discs.
  • Pinched nerves.
  • Joint wear and tear (arthritis).
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis).

Warning:

It is essential to see the doctor if back pain is accompanied by numbness or even paralysis in the arms and legs. It is also important if the pain radiates to the legs or lumbar region.

TREATMENT: WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Heat.
  • Movement.
  • Massage.
  • Relaxation.

 

Heat is ideal for mild pain: heating pads, infrared light or a hot bath can help.

Bed rest can also provide short-term relief from back pain. However, you should not overdo it: Of course, lying down is good for the first time, as you relieve the intervertebral discs. On the other hand, the intervertebral discs also need to be moved. This is the only way to supply them with enough nutrients. In addition, a prolonged lying position does not stress the muscles, just like a prolonged sitting position. In this sense, prolonged lying down is never good. Therefore: Get out of bed and do some physical activity!

In general, exercise and sports are important and effective in treating and preventing back pain. For example, go swimming (preferably backstroke or crawl) or walking! If your body is telling you that it is overworked, you should listen to it.

Why not see a physiotherapist? For chronic back pain, a professional massage will do the trick. Regularly applied relaxation methods (e.g., progressive muscle relaxation) can also relieve pain and eliminate much of the psychological pressure.

BACK PAIN IN THE WORKPLACE

On the one hand, prolonged sitting stresses the back in certain areas and, on the other hand, lack of movement under-utilizes certain muscle groups in other areas of the back. In addition, too often the desk, chair and computer are not ergonomically adjusted. As a result, the body remains in an unfavorable position during long working hours.

In the short term, our bodies can cope with this. However, if poor posture is maintained over the years, it can lead to long-term damage. This is when herniated discs or changes in the vertebral bodies occur.

ON YOUR LEFT!

We have already learned that sitting for long periods of time is not good for our back. It also reduces our ability to concentrate and makes us less productive. If you spend all day at your desk, you need to get up regularly and change your position. It is best to include short stretching breaks in your daily work routine.

It’s especially good to also work standing up for a while. Many people work primarily on a laptop computer. Why not set it up so that you can work comfortably standing up? Not all day, of course, but alternating between the two positions will prevent back strain!

Standing desks are quick to set up, adjustable in height and can simply be placed on the table. This allows you to work comfortably while standing. If you notice your feet and legs getting a little tired, that’s not a problem: standing desks can be quickly disassembled and stored to save space. For even more variety, you can theoretically put the desks on the floor and continue working cross-legged for a while.

Always remember that variety is the key to success! A rolling stone doesn’t gather moss. So keep moving, that’s how you’ll keep your body fit and healthy.

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