Top tips for homeworkers on how to avoid back pain

As more people are again working from home as a result of UK lockdown measures, makeshift desks and changes to daily routines are among a series of factors that are leading to more people suffering back pain.

Tips for avoiding and minimising pack pain are provided by expert in the field Dr Rahul Lakhera, a GP and professional lead for musculoskeletal conditions at the OneMedical Group.

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During lockdowns, many GPs have seen a rise in patients experiencing back pain, caused largely by inactive daily routines, bad posture, long hours sitting in a fixed position and poor home office set-ups.

Dr Lakhera, – a national provider of urgent, specialist and primary care services, tells how to both avoid and minimise back pain caused by working from home and our current social circumstances.

His top tips are ...

1 Move as regularly as you can

“No fixed position is good for our body so ensure to schedule in regular breaks during the working day.“Vary your positions and see if you can do some work standing or have a walking meeting.”

2 Stretch to maintain flexibility

“Get an exercise band and focus on exercises and stretches that will recruit your glute muscles. Use a foam roller so you can ease muscle tension in various parts of your back, legs and feet.”

3 Assess your work set up

“If you work at a desk, get a proper assessment to ensure everything is aligned so you can maintain correct posture.“Regularly check in with yourself while working and think about what position you’re in, and whether it is causing pain or tension.“For people working from home, this is even more vital, as more likely than not you’ll be working from a makeshift desk space.”

4 Incorporate daily activity

“Performing regular exercise – even just for 20 minutes each day – is a brilliant way to build muscular strength and relieve muscle tightness.“It also encourages you to get out of the fixed position that we often find ourselves in.”

5 Do muscle balancing exercises

“Despite our best intentions, work makes us sit a lot. Think of the position your hips are in while sedentary and dedicate time to reversing that position to offset the effects of this.

“For example, doing a minute of lunge stretches for every hour you sit is a good way at trying to ease the tightness in your hips.”

Dr Lakhera continued: “As a musculoskeletal physician, a lot of my time is taken up by back pain, as it is the most common presentation in my clinics”.

He added: “Over recent months, my patients have been presenting new and worsening back pain due to working from home and being less active during the lockdown period.

“It is essential that we check in with our posture, incorporate regular work breaks and perform exercises daily to ensure we minimise any pain caused.

“Just minor lifestyle tweaks can have a significant impact on both physical and mental wellbeing.

“Using these five simple tips as a guide will help avoid back pain and minimise any tension and strain that people may be currently experiencing.”

For more information about OneMedical Group visit www.onemedicalgroup.co.uk website.