Last week, we gave you some tips on how to manage back pain when you are required to stand on the job. You can read the first set of tips here. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind.
It may be a surprise that standing all day is just as painful and harmful for your back as a desk job. The main problems are from circulation and too much pressure on the knees and spine. Try these tips to alleviate and prevent aches and pain at the end of the day.
Try These Stretches: We don’t expect you to perform these stretches in front of the boss or a customer/client, but they are good ones to keep in mind throughout the day. The first stretch to try to fit in your day is to reach your arms over your head. As you reach forward, your abdominal muscles should tighten and pull towards your spine. From there, gently stretch from side to side. Another good stretch to try is to touch your toes from a standing position, then to carefully move into lunge stretches to keep the hips flexible.
Try to do these stretches before and after work. If you get a chance, you can also do them on your break or before you use the restroom. They only take a few seconds, yet they help stretch your muscles and increase blood flow. While you are on the floor, you can discreetly alternate from standing on one foot for a few seconds each. This helps to also increase circulation.
Reduce the Swelling: Most of the pain at the end of a shift comes from swelling and inflammation. To treat this, try icing your ankles or lower back when you get home. This can help reduce the pain and swelling. It is also wise to drink more water throughout the day. Many professionals also wear compression hoses/leggings to help control swelling throughout the day.
Adjust Work to Fit You: If you are bent over a cash register or laptop all day, you are doing some serious damage to your body. With the blessing of your employer, adjust your workspace to fit you. This means that tables or counters should be elevated to reduce the distance you bend over. This could be as simple as elevating the register or computer so that it is comfortable to use.
Mini Massages Feel Great: Regular massages from a masseuse may not be in your budget, but you can still enjoy the benefits of massage nightly. There’s not always an opportunity to get a full body massage, but our bodies react to stimulation. One way to improve circulation and release tension is massage—take a few minutes each night to massage your feet, legs, and shoulders. This will help release tension and promote circulation. A warm bath or some time in a hot tub can also provide some amazing results.
Regular Exercise is Key: Even though you are already outputting so much energy during your job, regular exercise will only benefit you. Focus more on daily strength toning and stretching, such as yoga or Pilates. You don’t necessarily need to run it out on the treadmill, since that may just aggravate your muscle pain more. However, toning your legs and abdominal muscles can help you feel better on the job and lead to less back pain in the future.
Show your back pain who is boss, even when you are required to stand all day for your job.
Remember to always consult a chiropractor or physician before taking any medical advice.