Oooh, ahh, ouch, eeek! These are the sounds office workers are making, having swapped their comfy office chairs for huddling over laptops at home, during the course of the pandemic. I’ve seen an increase of clients with back pain post pandemic, with most of them citing a change in working environment and routine as their major reason for aching backs and headaches.
There’s no occupational health at home!
The pandemic has had far reaching effects on our lives, changing the way we are living in many fundamental ways. One major change has been the shift away from office working to working from home. This has had a huge impact on our skeletal wellbeing not to mention our mental health. Offices had budgets for occupational health to provide safe and comfortable working environments. This practice has fallen short once people were required to work from home, therefore many people have swapped purpose-built office chairs and adjustable desks with PCs, for working from their beds or sofas hunched over laptops.
Spending long periods hunched over on sofas and beds has led to an increase in postural tightness and muscular pain. Tight trapezius muscles in our upper backs can also lead to headaches, resulting from muscular tightness and stress.
Managing posture, tension and stress to relieve back pain
Those working from home as a permanent arrangement post pandemic, should consider investing in a desk set up they can adjust to avoid tightness through the lower back, shoulders and neck. Standing desks can be really helpful to help reduce tension and alleviate the stress on the lower back and shoulders. Regular breaks and stretching can also help combat the build up of tension which leads to muscular pain as the muscles seize, tighten and lock when holding an extended position for too long.
Treating tired muscles with heat such as a hot water bottle not only relaxes muscles, but also dilates the local blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the area. This brings more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, helping them release further and regain their flexibility. Stretching once you’ve heated the area can further help release the muscles. Increasing body movement can also be beneficial, adding in daily exercise to get blood pumping around your body.
Another important factor in releasing tension is taking time to manage stress levels through breathing exercises and meditation can be a very effective preventative method. Here are some useful sources of information:
4-8th October 2021 is BackCare Awareness Week - with the focus on working/studying from home and the charity BackCare provides resources to ‘inform us how to support our backs, the very structure that in turn supports us day in, day out’. Source: BackCare website.
Massage therapy for backache
At Rest, Marta and I have combined experience of 20 years working in massage and beauty therapy in the local area. Massage can be very effective to alleviate muscular tightness causing back pain and headaches. Our treatments are tailored to your needs and can work towards helping you achieve pain free living. We use techniques including hot stone therapy, myofascial release, trigger point therapy and stretching to help ease conditions such as frozen shoulder, scoliosis, DDS, herniated (slipped) discs, trapped nerves, ligament or tendon injuries and everything in-between.
Get in touch for a free consultation to find out if we can help you. Call Ruth on 07866 700976 or Marta on 07411 316204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out about our qualifications, visit our About Us website page.