Eighty percent of the U.S. population will have to deal with some form of back pain in their lives, according to the National Institutes of Health.
If you find yourself going to work with back pain, these suggestions will help you get through the day. They may not completely resolve the problem, but they will keep you going until you can see a physician for further care.
When Going Back to Work Doesn’t Make Sense
Many cases of lower back pain will go away in four to six weeks, according to WebMD, but if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should see a physician as soon as possible:
- Your back pain was caused by a sudden injury
- You can’t sleep because of the pain
- You have severe pain radiating down one of your legs
- You have numbness in your body below where your back pain is located
Any of these symptoms can indicate a severe back injury that requires immediate attention. They also suggest that your condition could get worse if left untreated.
Focus on Your Back
Whenever you move, focus your attention on your back and move it as little as possible. When getting out of a chair, push up with your arms and legs while keeping your back straight. If you must pick something up, bend at your knees, not at your waist.
When getting in and out of your car, turn your whole body, not just your waist. Stairs may aggravate your back for a few days so take the elevator when you can.
When sitting at a desk, use a chair that keeps your back straight and doesn’t allow you to lean back in it. Use a heating pad or cold pack. Get up every few minutes and walk slowly down the hall and back so your back doesn’t get stiff.
Stretch at Work
On your breaks, do some stretching exercises to keep your back limber. Healthline suggests lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Arch your back up and hold for five seconds. Then lower your back and push it down into the floor. Hold for five seconds. Do this five times and gradually increase the number of repetitions as long as your pain is under control.
The Huffington Post says that some people respond to yoga as a way to keep their back flexible during their recovery from back pain. When doing any back exercise, only do what is comfortable for you. Do not push yourself or you’ll risk delaying your healing.
When the Pain Doesn’t Stop
If after a few days of going to work with your back pain, it shows no sign of improving, or it is getting worse, it’s time to contact your doctor. Back pain was once treated by traction, bed rest and major surgery. Minimally invasive techniques, such as delivered by Laser Spine Institute, put you at less risk, and speed up your recovery time so you can get back to work and life sooner. Many procedures can even be done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. To learn more about Laser Spine Institute, visit their company LinkedIn page.
Your back is a complicated arrangement of muscles and nerves. Diagnosis and treatment of back issues is best left to the trained physicians who specialize in back and spinal injuries. When your back pain becomes severe, or just doesn’t go away, it’s time to see a specialist before the situation becomes worse.