Many professions ask a lot of their workers. We all expect that jobs like construction or warehouse work to be physically demanding, but the truth is that even jobs that require standing rather than heavy lifting can still be taxing on your body.
Whether you work in a restaurant, in a coffee shop, or as a nurse in a busy hospital, there are plenty of professions that require near-constant standing. One side effect of standing all day is that you may soon find yourself managing back pain that will only worsen with time.
Instead of getting frustrated, or relying on over-the-counter pain relievers, follow our helpful tips for proactive back pain management.
Tips for Better Back Pain Management
When thinking about your back, it’s important to remember that our whole lower body is connected, and pain signals a particular problem in our body. Issues that affect your back may result from issues that begin in your feet, ankles, or knees.
For example, if you have pain in your feet due to plantar fasciitis or fallen arches, you may alter your gait, which transfers stress to your hips and back.
Proactive foot pain management is key to ensuring you remain pain-free in all other areas of your lower body. With a few simple changes to your daily routine, you can strengthen your back and ensure it remains healthy and supported long-term.
Stretch throughout the day
Stretching throughout the day is key to ensuring the muscles in your back, legs, and feet remain limber and relaxed. If you feel pain, it’s normal to tighten up your muscles, which will quickly exacerbate feelings of stiffness and pain.
Stretch out your feet, legs, and back throughout the day by doing calf raises.
Or, the runner’s stretch, which involves standing with your hands against a wall with one leg bent, and the other stretched out straight behind you. Then, push against the wall, so you feel a stretch in your extended calf. Switch positions, and repeat on the other side.
Pay attention to posture
Our posture, whether we’re sitting or standing, is very important. Having good posture ensures that our bones are correctly aligned. It also keeps an even tension through the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Good sitting posture means that your feet are flat on the floor, your knees are at or below hip level, and a backrest supports the upper body.
While you’re standing, ensure that you evenly distribute your weight across the soles of your feet and your shoulders are relaxed. Your chin should be parallel to the floor, and your spine should be neutral.
If your job involves a lot of lifting, make sure you know how to lift correctly. It may not come quickly at first, but the more you repeat it, the easier it will get.
Always start a lift with a wide, supported stance, and use your knees and legs to propel you to a standing position while keeping your back straight.
Wear comfortable shoes
Wearing comfortable and supportive shoes is a vital part of upper and lower back pain management. Your shoes should be slip-resistant and have plenty of padding and cushioning, especially in the midsole; this helps absorb shocks, softening the impact on your lower back.
Regardless of which shoes you choose, they should fit well and feel comfortable from the beginning. Shoes that you have to break in may not be suitable for wearing at work. They should never chafe or rub any part of your feet or pinch your toes or heel.
If you’re looking for more support than a pair of shoes can offer, ask your doctor about custom orthotics or medical advice about your painful area. Custom-made insoles fit into most pairs of shoes and provide support to your feet’ unique shape.
Custom Orthotics Help Busy Workers Manage Back Pain
If your back has been hurting for more than six weeks without a break, or if you have any additional symptoms including fever, loss of bladder function, numbness, or unexplained weight loss, contact your doctor right away. They can help by asking questions to determine whether your work duties cause your back pain and avoid potential chronic low back pain or nerve damage.
If your symptoms are related to overuse and repetitive stress, your doctor may suggest investing in a pair of custom orthotics.
Once you have a prescription, the easiest way to buy them is from Orthotics Direct. We make all our orthotics to measure, and our customers can choose from a vast array of name brand shoes and work boots if you need to purchase a package.
Don’t wait for your back pain to get excruciating. Take action today, and safeguard your back for the future.