Working with back pain

Working with back pain

Do you want to get on top of your back pain so you can be more productive at work and in your personal life?

Physiotherapy can help with initial treatment and set you up with self-management strategies, which helps you avoid the need for ongoing physiotherapy treatment.

Here are our tips to protect your back at work and home:

Standing Posture

  • Relax! Keep your shoulders relaxed with your chest lifted.
  • Keep your chin tucked to ensure correct neck posture
  • You should feel balanced across your shoulders and stable through your back
  • Imagine a piece of string holding you up from the crown of your head so that you lengthen through your spine.

Sitting

  • Request a workstation assessment to ensure your desk and chair set up are correct for you!
  • Avoid sitting for longer than 20 – 30 minutes at a time
  • Stand up, stretch your neck and back or take a walk around your work environment. You’ll feel more refreshed and your back will thank you for it!

Exercise

  • Get moving! Movement helps relieve back pain; gentle stretches, walking, core/abdominal exercises and swimming are great ways to retrain your body that movement is good. From there you can build up slowly with other forms of exercise under the guidance of your physiotherapist

Lifting

  • Assess the load. This may sound simple but often we don’t think before we lift – How heavy is it? Do I need extra assistance?
  • Look at the alternatives! Can the load be broken down into more manageable weights to lift?
  • Use a trolley, crane or forklift, if it is available
  • Ask for help where possible
  • If the object is manageable, lift by bending your knees to squat down close to the object and keep it close to your body as you straighten your legs. Use the big muscles groups; your bottom and leg muscles, instead of your back!
  • It is important to remember to avoid twisting whilst lifting a heavy object as this places unnecessary pressure on your back. Take a few extra steps with your feet to avoid twisting.

When to present

If you are struggling with persistent back pain come and see one of our friendly physiotherapists who can assess and treat your individual concerns and tailor and program to help you feel better!

About author: Sophie Garrity Sophie is a qualified physiotherapist graduating from the University of Melbourne with a Doctor of Physiotherapy.

Her areas of interest include Pilates, women’s health, occupational rehabilitation and low back pain. She finds it extremely rewarding to see how treatment and participation from patients can create significant changes in their conditions and overall quality of life.

Sophie is passionate about creating a meaningful experience for all of her patients; she enjoys building rapport and providing a patient-centred approach to her patients. Outside of the clinic, Sophie enjoys great Melbourne coffee, going to the gym, running (socially!), travelling, spending time with family and friends as well as trying out new restaurants and bars Melbourne has to offer.