The UK’s government’s COVID-19 lockdown has significantly changed the way we live our lives. It has forced many people to work from home and made everyday activities like going to the gym impossible.
Unfortunately, some of these changes have the potential to cause or inflame health problems like lower back pain. Whilst Lockdown restrictions may be easing, many people are still working from home or staying at home for prolonged periods.
In this post, our Fareham chiropractor explains how lifestyle changes during this time can increase the risk of lower back pain and share some tips for avoiding lower back pain.
How The Lockdown Can Affect The Health Of Your Lower Back
Unhealthy work from home practices
The lockdown has forced millions of Brits to work from home. While this has been a blessing for some, it has been very difficult for others.
If you don’t have an ergonomic workspace in your home, then you may be forced to work on a laptop while sitting on a couch or in an uncomfortable chair. This can eventually take a toll on your lower back, causing back pain and other conditions.
Reduced exercise levels
Many people have found that the lockdown has made it impossible to continue their daily workouts. This is particularly true for individuals who normally go to the gym or play team sports to stay fit and healthy. Unfortunately, missing out on exercise can have an effect on the health of your lower back.
More time on the couch
For many people, the lockdown has involved a lot of Netflix and snack food. While this pastime can be quite enjoyable, spending too much time on the couch can lead to back pain. In fact, one of the most common reasons why clients visit our chiropractic clinic in Fareham is to receive treatment for back pain caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
Sitting down can force the body into a slouching position, which places a significant amount of stress on the neck and lower back. Although this position feels comfortable in the short term, it can eventually be very damaging to the body.
Spending too much time sitting also weakens the muscles in the abdomen, which places even more strain on the lower back. At the Homewood Chiropractic Clinic, we often give patients exercise programs to help them re-engage their core muscles and avoid sitting-related back pain.
Avoiding Lower Back Pain In Lockdown
Continue exercising every day
Exercise is an important part of maintaining good lower back health, so it’s important to make a concerted effort to workout during the lockdown. If you cannot leave your home at the moment, work out using body exercises, aerobics, or yoga. If the local parks are open, go for a walk, ride, or run each day. Continuing to exercise will keep your joints lubricated and ensure the back’s supporting muscles remain strong.
Do seek advice from a medical professional before undertaking any new form of exercise especially if you suffer from a preexisting health condition.
Stretch throughout the day
Stretching is a wonderful way to engage muscles, lubricate joints and improve your range of motion. Add more stretching to your day by having a stretching session as soon as you wake each morning. A simple 10 minute routine can make a dramatic impact to the health of your spine. Many people also have a late night stretching session, which is a fantastic way to relax the body before sleep.
Maintain good posture
The quality of your posture has a dramatic impact on the health of your lower back. Improve your posture by:
- Being mindful of how you position your body
- “Resetting” your posture by regularly stretching and changing positions
- Creating an ergonomic workspace which includes an ergonomic chair
- Using daily reminders to help you correct posture
- Wearing comfortable clothing
- Using devices which provide support to the lumbar region of your back
- Incorporating more movement into your day
Use ice or heat therapy
If you are already experiencing lower back pain while in lockdown, try using hot or cold therapy. Applying heat to your lower back will relax your muscles and relieve, while cold therapy will relieve inflammation. If you do need advice, then you can contact Homewood Chiropractic Clinic during this time.
Avoid spending too much time in bed
A number of people visiting our clinic have lower back pain which can traced back to their bed. They either have a poor quality mattress or poor sleeping habits (poor body position). Spending lots of time in bed can also weaken the muscles that support the lower back, so resist the urge to sleep for 10 hours a day during lockdown.
Drink plenty of water and eat well
Most people don’t appreciate how important nutrition is for back health. A healthy diet will keep the spinal discs, joints and muscles in your back well-nourished. They will be more resilient to injury and stronger.
Follow our Fareham chiropractor’s advice and keep your lower back safe.