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The ongoing COVID pandemic has made many of us work from home. It is unfortunate that some people who are working from home suffer from lower back pain. Possibly it might be a result of your home office set-up. Long working hours without a comfortable chair, poor posture and other uncomfortable things can all result in back pain.

There are many benefits to working from home, but there are some drawbacks as well including neck pain and back pain. Normally home environment is designed for relaxation and entertainment. Normally very few people design homes for serious office work. So as people are forced to work form home, they use less than ideal seating and working arrangements. Using laptops while lying on the bed may not be the ideal situation and can lead to undue strain on the spine.  In this article, Dr. Surya Prakash, a senior spine surgeon in Hyderabad, compiled some tips & strategies to prevent back pain while you work from home. 

Changing your lifestyle is the key to maintaining a healthy back. If you want to maintain a healthy back in the long run, you should give up on your sedentary lifestyle.

You can prevent WFH back pain effortlessly if you can follow these tips and tricks:

Start your day by stretching your back 

While working at home, stretching exercises are a way to alleviate back pain. It is advisable to begin your day with a few stretches that strengthen your back muscles. A morning stretch will have a positive effect on your body form throughout the day. 

Find your ideal chair

It may surprise you to find out that your couch or bed isn’t the perfect  place for you to work. If you want to maintain correct posture that is good for your spine, then you should find a chair that helps you sit in a straight and comfortable position. It’s better not to sit on soft and fluffy seats. Don’t lean forward on your computer screen or slouch back in your chair.

Support your lower back 

Sitting in upright positions puts more pressure and stress on your lower back. Therefore, it is crucial to offer extra lower back support. So simply placing a rolled towel or a log-shaped pillow near the lower is the easiest way to maintain your posture and decrease pain.

Keep your neck straight while watching your computer screen.

Adjust the computer screen so that you can comfortably view it. Don’t watch your computer screen, like you watch your phone. Also, do not position your screen in such a way that your neck must be twisted. Some people like to place the keyboard and mouse to the side of their screen, but this can lead to neck pain due to bad posture. If you are using a laptop, you may have to place it at a height comfortable to view and straight in front of you.

Face your computer screen sideways toward a bright window.

If you want to reduce the risk of visual eye strain caused by glare or partial retinal adaptation, don’t place your computer screen facing the window, because the sun light that falls on the screen causes a glare. And it is also not advisable to work facing a window, because you will stare directly into the sun light. 

Your screen should be perpendicular to your window unless your window has shades that can be closed. Cover any glass tables you are using to prevent glare reflected on them.

Do not use a squishy, soft wrist rest.

Keeping soft material for support might give you a comfortable feel, but it will put pressure on your finger flexors and the median nerve. As a result it might increase the risk of acquiring carpal tunnel syndrome.

Ensure your feet are flat on the ground when you are sitting.

In case your feet cannot reach the floor, use a box or footrest. You should not let your feet dangle in mid-air or bend back behind the chair – if you do so, it increases pressure under your thighs which reduces the flow of blood to your lower legs and feet. Eventually you will be at high risk of developing deep vein thrombosis.

Make sure to move frequently

One of the main drawbacks of WFH is limited body movement. To complete your daily tasks, all you needed was a computer and the internet. So you may move less. However, bodily movements are as important as maintaining a good posture. It is important to take frequent walking breaks. Getting up frequently is a good antidote for avoiding back strain. 

Your body becomes stiff if you consistently sit for long hours. It is recommended to make short movements while you work throughout the day. Setting an alarm to remind you to take a 5 min walk within the house every hour will keep you motivated. 

To ensure that you do not suffer from back pain in the future, follow these tips and if you still experience back pain, consult Dr. Surya Prakash, a renowned spine surgeon who can provide a permanent solution. He has more than two decades of experience in treating various back problems. Call +91 9848024699 to book a doctor consultation.

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