May 11, 2020
How to Ease Your Back Pain
Adam Roberts, Exercise Physiologist, CTTS

Back pain can be a vicious cycle if not addressed properly. Most back pain doesn’t go away on its own, and there is no one-size-fits-all strategy to easing the pain. There are four steps we want to consider to fixing back pain issues. These steps are in a very specific order.

Find the Dysfunction: This could be anything from weak muscle groups to a spine injury. Before we get started with fixing issues, we need to identify the problem. Always consult with a professional like your doctor, a chiropractor, or massage therapist to help find the musculoskeletal issue.

Build a Foundation: Now that you know what the problem is, you can start to work on the solution. This is like building a proper foundation before you build a house. If you jump straight to strengthening, you can cause more harm than good.

Improve Flexibility: More often than not, if you are having back pain your range of motion may not be the best it can be. Our bodies add inflexible tissue called fascia around an injury to fortify the area. It is important to stretch and alleviate the need for extra fascia by adding flexibility back in.

Increase Strength: Last but not least, once we have worked our way to this step we have added range of motion back in to the problem areas and now we need to add the stability back in. If you have back pain you can put your thumb on, there are most likely weak muscle groups right above or below the site of pain.

You may also want to consider your workstation onsite and at home. Working from home may mean working from an uncomfortable chair and makeshift desk. This may lead to some muscle soreness and aches and pain. Try doing some gentle stretch chair yoga to help destress while increasing blood flow and flexibility. Don’t have a standing desk for your in-home office? Get creative and build your own!

Standing Station Ergonomics Tips

  • The top of your screen should be eye level.
  • The keyboard is placed so elbows are bent just more than 90 degrees.
  • Feet should be shoulder width apart with a slight bend in the knees preferably standing on a mat or rug for cushioning.

For Ohio State employees who use computers, an online tutorial on office ergonomics is available through BuckeyeLearn.

Want to learn more? Register for a free online educational program Baby Got Back…. Pain on June 30.