Solving Lower Back Pain In The Workplace

Author: Dr Kristian Van Staveran

As computers and desks pervade nearly every aspect of our daily lives, frequent and prolonged sitting is contributing to increased rates of lower back pain and neck pain.

Whether you are a shop keeper in Prahran or an office worker in the CBD, no doubt you will interact with technology in some form frequently throughout the day. Even your local Osteopath can get stuck in front of a computer typing up reports or going through notes!

Simply, humans aren’t designed to sit for prolonged periods, as sitting by itself increased pressure on the lumbar spine by 50% alone. Studies have shown that lumbar disc herniations can be a direct mechanical consequence of prolonged sitting. [Wilder DG, Pope MH, Frymoyer JW Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of Vermont, Burlington 05405. Journal of Spinal Disorders]

That’s one reason why slouching at work in a poor chair can make a back tighter without a specific event, often leading to an acute low back spasm for no apparent reason.

Pain in a work environment is devastating in so many ways, from affecting employee well-being, as well as decreased productivity and cost to business.

So, what to do?

Next time you are seeing your Osteopath at Beyond in Windsor/ Prahran or Hawthorn, have a chat about your workstation setup and ergonomics to see if any easy changes can be made to help prevent a slouched posture.

This may include the use of a lumbar roll, adjustments to chair or desk height or even specific equipment to raise a laptop or monitor higher.

Most workplaces have a person responsible for OHS in workplaces, and your Beyond Osteopath may make some recommendations or even talk to them directly to help get you comfortable.

However, if you have had a niggle in regards to lower back for some time and it isn’t going away, contact Beyond in Windsor/ Prahran or Hawthorn to get a plan to prevent the pain from progressing.

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