If your lower back is hurting, or you’re feeling pain under your shoulder blades or down your neck, you know how difficult it can be to just sit up in the morning, let alone function at work throughout the day. You may have tried a more ergonomic chair, a different computer desk height, or seeing a chiropractor. There’s nothing wrong with any of these treatments. In fact, they all may help relieve your back pain. However, that’s just it. They’ll help. But not one of them is a cure, in and of itself.
To really cure your back pain, you need to get to the bottom of what’s causing it. Are you carrying tension in your spine because you’re under a lot of stress at work? Sometimes back pain comes from just sleeping wrong or a traumatic injury, but when that’s not the case, the cause needs to be determined and repaired, rather than just treating the symptoms over and over again.
When stress and tension are to blame for your back pain, you’ll tend to walk and sit with your shoulders either hunched or shrugged-up. Because this is a perpetual condition, you may not even know that your muscles are clenched as tightly as they are. But your spine will definitely tell you, in the form of pain or back spasms. So if you stiffen every time you hear your boss’ voice, how can you better cope with professional stress so that your spine doesn’t suffer long-term?
Take a walk. Now, you may not be able to immediately get up and go, but commit yourself to using your break-time to get some exercise. Taking a short walk – focusing on your breathing and loosening and relaxing your shoulders – can help a lot. It’s also a great mental stress-reliever and wonderful cardiovascular exercise. That’s at least three benefits rolled into one effort. Talk about multi-tasking efficiency!
Yoga and meditation are also highly recommended for people suffering from stress-induced back pain. Meditation can help you focus on becoming calm and centered, while yoga stretches and poses will leave you more limber with stronger muscles to support your spine.
There’s no shame in admitting that work-stress can have a negative effect on our bodies. In fact, most people can point to a time (or a few) in their lives when the stress of work or something else important had a negative impact on their health. The sooner you can identify the cause and get to the bottom of it with the proper treatment, the less chance it has to take hold and cause irreversible damage. So you call the shots - because no one is a better boss of your health than you are.