4

votes

Hack my chronic lower back pain (Desk job)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 20, 2012 at 4:05 PM

This is more of a Primal Living question:

Like a lot of people, I have a desk job. I'm a programmer and sit at my desk, listening to head phones, undisturbed for most of the day.

For the last 10 years I've had lower back pain on and off. For the last eight months, it's been CONSTANT. It's worse the day after playing basketball, almost unbearable. It's bad in the mornings and some nights I can't sleep unless I take Advil.

Currently, I'm doing the following

  • All different kinds of core strengthening exercises, done daily
  • Getting up and walking every 30 minutes
  • hip flexor stretches every 30 minutes and at night (still on my first week of these)
  • adjusting my workspace according to ergonomic standards

I've also tried

  • sleeping on the floor
  • sleeping with a pillow between my knees
  • deadlifts and squats (which I can't even do most of the time because of the pain)
  • running
  • CrossFit (for about a year)

I'm up for any suggestions as I'm running out of options, and like a lot of other Paleo enthusiasts, the last thing I want to do is start taking a drug.

I've seen some other posts on here, but they were answering questions about a injury. This isn't related to a specific incident/injury.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I also tried

  • a standing desk for about 3 months WHILE barefoot (just socks)

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on October 17, 2012
at 03:56 PM

Thanks. I'm in physical therapy now, and that combined with having an ergo specialist set up my work space has made huge improvements but I still have room for improvement.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 26, 2012
at 01:52 AM

I'm glad you mentioned #3 there, hydration can help because when the spinal cord is fully hydrated there is more space between the vertebrae.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 25, 2012
at 11:48 PM

My husband struggled with desk job induced back pain, and I have to second the inversion table. He did that every day after work for months and it helped a lot.

016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

(688)

on April 20, 2012
at 11:32 PM

@Fred -Ok, so it's rotation that hurts. Makes more sense. Check out that link above on core-stability and work on those little muscles and let me know how it goes. And def continue the rolling.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 09:23 PM

@Kelly - I do a knee hug type of stretch, where I'm sitting on my knees and lean all the way forward, arms out straight. That one feels really good. The stretch that hits the exact point of pain is the one where I'm on one knee, tilt my pelvis forward, raise my arm and rotate. It's only on one side that I feel it though, and the stretch feels great. Same stretch on the other side feels fine. Whatever that muscle is might be the main problem. It feels like it's inside my body, not something on the surface that I could massage - does that make sense?

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 09:17 PM

@tdgor - Huge changes 8 months ago: I got a new job and moved the whole family to a new town, new house, new gym... AH-HA! Another one to mention - we have a really, old, crappy mattress that needs to go! Although I thought sleeping on some thick blankets on the floor would make a noticeable difference if the mattress was causing my problems, but it didn't. It actually made my hip bones hurt from the lack of padding. I eased into the Vibrams for sure. I haven't been wearing them for months though because I'm playing BBall. I was really careful about that one.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Wow, another rec for Esther Gokhale. I think I'll pick up her book too. Thanks

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:48 PM

Thanks @Beth, I was just looking at that book on Amazon. I need some new reading material so I might as well!

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:46 PM

"you're dealing with is 10 years of bad posture" - I couldn't agree more. I'm hopeful that I can remedy this with good posture and stretching. I did a very similar desk set up, and everything looks good. I'm a huge fan of deads and squats, but find that I'm not able to do them as often as I'd like because of the chronic pain. I got way into OL and Power lifting from the CrossFit days, and have had people assure me that my form is good. I also have no problem taking it slow. I don't look around when I'm in the gym: "if it's heavy for me, then it's lifting heavy."

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:41 PM

@Kelly - I haven't been checked for herniated disk, but I misread your post and listed the wrong exercise as painful. The one that hurts is when I lie on my side, knees up a little and twist. Or if I do that with only my top leg bent, bottom leg straight and twist. When I play Basketball, everything feels great. it's the next morning that my back is way more sore than usual - which suggests to me that it's caused by a lack of stretching the right parts after playing. I should also add that I've been rolling out my back and legs for about 3 weeks now, and can tell I need more of that!

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:35 PM

@Kelly, yeah, that's why I work with a personal trainer. We correct weaknesses, not practice strengths. So my workouts consist entirely of stuff that is hard for me, and when those drill gets easier, they disappear. ::pouts:: OTOH, I can do 20 toe pushups at a clip whereas a few months ago I think I could manage 6.

016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

(688)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:12 PM

@tgdor - it happens all the time. Our bodies are so crafty. They find ways to recruit the biggest, strongest guys to do all the hard work, meanwhile the little guys get no action so they get weaker. I've been forever trying to teach people, many times "less is more" - go slow, do the non-glamorous stuff too - it's not all about 6 pack abs. Le sigh.

B4596b07beac42c88ea7b3eab1c4c711

(95)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:10 PM

I recently resolved some back pain by adopting some primal podtures demonstrated in this video directed to office staff at Google: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yYJ4hEYudE. I did this in combination with barefoot walking several times a week. Perhaps you will also find this talk/presentation benificial for your own situation.

016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

(688)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:09 PM

@Fred - the fact that lying knee hugs hurt you is a bit worrisome. Have you been checked for a herniated disk? You might have to lay off the Bball for a bit, and I'd def avoid the last 3 things you mentioned you tried...at least until you fix what's broken. Here is a great link that further explains what I mentioned: http://www.ssptdc.com/about/core-stability-article.asp

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:56 PM

+1 on the multifidus. FWIW, I thought I had a really strong core/abs until a few months ago when I started working with a personal trainer and we observed that what I really have is super strong hip flexors that take over (that's the "improper recruitment pattern" in action!). Note this issue re multifidus: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8979323

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:11 PM

"FULL DISCLOSURE: This is just a "hack" from a fitness hack; you probably want to see a good Chiro or Occupational Therapist to find out what's really going on" +1

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:07 PM

@Beth, I have the same condition but I try to address more normal back trouble LOL. My specialist told me not to "bend, twist, flex or rotate" because my whole spine would also have to be fused. Needless to say, I can't actually be that good but I try to stay in a "sore" state rather than "pain."

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:07 PM

Finding a physio is a good suggestion.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 06:17 PM

"Look for exercises to train the multifidus, erector spinae, and TVA in particular" - excellent, thanks. Yoga was another suggestion from a friend that I'll try. I don't know the official names of the stretches but I'm doing 1) Cat, Cow 2) Crescent Lunge 3) pelvic tilts 4) bird dog 5) On one knee, tilt pelvis forward, arm up then lean back, side side and rotate - it stretches my oblique area and hip flexor BUT I just found this last one. lying knee hugs hurt way too much right now. I'm in good shape, strong core. I'm probably just missing the smaller muscles like you said

60dffe254787a2e7a96dedc87d11e5c5

(110)

on April 20, 2012
at 05:27 PM

Ah, I think it's important to have the keyboard at about waist height (or an inch above) so your hands can almost rest on it comfortably. I also find it easier to maintain posture if my feet can sit flat on the ground (something I'm still getting use to!). I hope your back gets better!

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 20, 2012
at 05:27 PM

Oh, and I used to know some stuff about improving memory, but I've forgotten.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 20, 2012
at 05:26 PM

Did you ease into the BF/Vibrams? If you made the transition too abruptly that would probably cause MORE pain. Also, other than injury, can you recall any lifestyle changes eight months ago? New job? New routine? New gym? Anything?

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 05:21 PM

@tdgor - I see. When I had the standing desk, I'd always take my shoes off, and when running I'd wear Vibrams. I should have included that in my OP. I've tried so many things I can't remember them all... Geez, any suggestions to improve memory, haha?

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 05:14 PM

Ok, good to know. I've only been doing the breaks every 30 mins for about two weeks. That's the second suggestion for an exercise ball though! I'll have to figure that one out, I think this desk is too high so I'd be reaching up to my keyboard (I'm 5'8" with shoes on).

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 20, 2012
at 05:13 PM

Fred, with the shoe question, I was thinking more along the lines of trying minimalist footwear, rather than more footwear. Try a search on the "barefoot" tag for more info than I can squeeze into one comment.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:55 PM

Oops, I meant Vit D each morning, Mg each night.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:55 PM

I've been taking Vitamin D3 (6,000IU/day) and Mg Glycinate (400mg) each night for about 1.5 years. I haven't taken any K2 though. No one in my entire family has back problems that I know of. I haven't heard of Meloxicam, but I'm leaning toward taking something while I work out the details of a non-medicated approach, so I appreciate the recommendation. Two recommendations for walking is enough to try it. There's a track right by my house!

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:44 PM

Thanks! I haven't tried the exercise ball, but I did try a standing desk (included now in my OP). My current cubicle desk is a little high for me, so I have a foot rest... it might be too high for the ex ball, BUT my work is lining up an Ergo specialist so I'll ask. I think you're right though, I'm doing all the suggestions but maybe I need someone to help me focus and perfect the stretches/exercises a bit more. I'll try to find a physiotherapist (which I've never even heard of until now).

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:40 PM

@tdgor - I normally wear dress shoes. Should I wear something else? running shoes? My friend swears by his insoles, maybe I'll try that. It doesn't feel spasmodic, its hard to say where, it's the entire lower back, and some on my left oblique - almost like it's inside my body more. It even feels like my hip bones hurt if that makes sense.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:39 PM

@Nance - I do feel better on weekends when I'm up and playing with the kids, so walking makes sense. I have really good lifting posture, even if it's just a piece of paper on the ground.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:30 PM

Is the pain spasmodic at all? Does it feel like it's muscles that hurt? Can you place the location of the pain specifically?

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Meant to ask this as a comment. What kind of shoes are you wearing? In particular, how much of a heel drop do your shoes have? And could you go to a standing desk setup?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:16 PM

My back specialist told me to walk 5 miles per day no matter what else I did--that creates a more muscular "cradle" for the lower back and it does work. It's also important, when your back is irritated, to use legs only climbing stairs and getting out of chairs AND to keep your back straight when lifting/bending. Good muscles won't help if your moving posture sucks.

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14 Answers

5
016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

on April 20, 2012
at 05:38 PM

You mentioned hip flexor stretching but little else in that department. Try some yoga poses - cat, cow, wag the tail, thread the needle (to stretch out your abductors), pigeon (same idea), lying knee hugs, lower body twist (lie flat on your back, bend knees about 90 degrees and using your right hand, press down on the outside of left knee; apply constant pressure and hold. Keep left shoulder blade on ground). And stretch your hamstrings/glutes/piriformis a lot!

Stretch, stretch, stretch. Try a yoga class. Strengthen your core's inner unit by doing pelvic tilt exercises, and focus on engaging the proper core muscles, especially the smaller, less used ones - if you're not doing "bird dog" as a core exercise, start. Learn how to engage your TVA when doing any exercise, including sitting at your desk. Get regular massage or become best friends with a foam roller or baseball/tennis/golf ball and work on massaging out knots to increase blood flow. Massage and stretch, back and forth, and repeat. Walk a lot and squeeze your glutes when you do.

Many people I know do lots of core exercises but they don't have the proper recruitment pattern so the overwork their bigger muscles and the smaller ones which connect to the spine don't get used enough, which causes disfunction. This is why you might see a bodybuilder with huge lats who gets back pain while standing over the sink brushing his teeth. Look for exercises to train the multifidus, erector spinae, and TVA in particular. Good luck.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 09:23 PM

@Kelly - I do a knee hug type of stretch, where I'm sitting on my knees and lean all the way forward, arms out straight. That one feels really good. The stretch that hits the exact point of pain is the one where I'm on one knee, tilt my pelvis forward, raise my arm and rotate. It's only on one side that I feel it though, and the stretch feels great. Same stretch on the other side feels fine. Whatever that muscle is might be the main problem. It feels like it's inside my body, not something on the surface that I could massage - does that make sense?

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:41 PM

@Kelly - I haven't been checked for herniated disk, but I misread your post and listed the wrong exercise as painful. The one that hurts is when I lie on my side, knees up a little and twist. Or if I do that with only my top leg bent, bottom leg straight and twist. When I play Basketball, everything feels great. it's the next morning that my back is way more sore than usual - which suggests to me that it's caused by a lack of stretching the right parts after playing. I should also add that I've been rolling out my back and legs for about 3 weeks now, and can tell I need more of that!

016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

(688)

on April 20, 2012
at 11:32 PM

@Fred -Ok, so it's rotation that hurts. Makes more sense. Check out that link above on core-stability and work on those little muscles and let me know how it goes. And def continue the rolling.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:56 PM

+1 on the multifidus. FWIW, I thought I had a really strong core/abs until a few months ago when I started working with a personal trainer and we observed that what I really have is super strong hip flexors that take over (that's the "improper recruitment pattern" in action!). Note this issue re multifidus: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8979323

016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

(688)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:09 PM

@Fred - the fact that lying knee hugs hurt you is a bit worrisome. Have you been checked for a herniated disk? You might have to lay off the Bball for a bit, and I'd def avoid the last 3 things you mentioned you tried...at least until you fix what's broken. Here is a great link that further explains what I mentioned: http://www.ssptdc.com/about/core-stability-article.asp

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 06:17 PM

"Look for exercises to train the multifidus, erector spinae, and TVA in particular" - excellent, thanks. Yoga was another suggestion from a friend that I'll try. I don't know the official names of the stretches but I'm doing 1) Cat, Cow 2) Crescent Lunge 3) pelvic tilts 4) bird dog 5) On one knee, tilt pelvis forward, arm up then lean back, side side and rotate - it stretches my oblique area and hip flexor BUT I just found this last one. lying knee hugs hurt way too much right now. I'm in good shape, strong core. I'm probably just missing the smaller muscles like you said

016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

(688)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:12 PM

@tgdor - it happens all the time. Our bodies are so crafty. They find ways to recruit the biggest, strongest guys to do all the hard work, meanwhile the little guys get no action so they get weaker. I've been forever trying to teach people, many times "less is more" - go slow, do the non-glamorous stuff too - it's not all about 6 pack abs. Le sigh.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:35 PM

@Kelly, yeah, that's why I work with a personal trainer. We correct weaknesses, not practice strengths. So my workouts consist entirely of stuff that is hard for me, and when those drill gets easier, they disappear. ::pouts:: OTOH, I can do 20 toe pushups at a clip whereas a few months ago I think I could manage 6.

3
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on April 26, 2012
at 01:21 AM

I'm dealing with this as well. I've tried most of the things you have tried but the two things that have paid the most dividends in my low back health have been...

  1. AM and PM yoga before and after work. I work out of hotels often and I wake very early. That gives me time to lay out the blanket, and sit in the floor doing basic yoga and holding each position for 1.5 - 2 minutes for about 3 repetitions of each stretch. Morning sessions take me about 20 minutes, evenings are maybe half that.

  2. Hamstrings, hamstrings, hamstrings! Most low back pain comes from your hamstring being in a constantly relaxed state (sitting in a chair), and tightening up (tugging on your lumbars in the process). Spend more time stretching your hamstrings - here are a few that are good to start. I personally prefer the "wall" hamstring stretches while taking a hot shower, they seem to loosen up quite well with the added heat.

  3. Take short walks on your lunch break, bring a very large glass of water (mine is 1 quart) and drink it constantly so you are either recycling (peeing) or refilling your glass every hour. Try to make sure you are at least getting a 5 minute period of standing/walking for every hour in your desk, 15 minutes would be optimal (but not the best if you work call center/help desk).

Good luck!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 26, 2012
at 01:52 AM

I'm glad you mentioned #3 there, hydration can help because when the spinal cord is fully hydrated there is more space between the vertebrae.

2
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on April 20, 2012
at 07:03 PM

I've been doing Egoscue since October for major disk degenerative disease (the ortho I saw in Sept wanted to fuse basically my entire lumbar spine). Basically their premise is that back pain is from a misaligned spine, and the spine does what the postural muscles tell it to do. Fix/strengthen the postural muscles (not just the core) and you resolve the pain.

If you're near one of their centers, I'd recommend being guided, but note that it's not considered medical so insurance doesn't cover it. There are Egoscue books, so that may be an option as well. Basically Egoscue involves doing specific exercises pretty much every day. It's not like chiropractic (no immediate response), but over time, it definitely adds up. I went from being unable to walk 75 steps without pain to walking my first mile (today actually).

Another option you might want to consider is Esther Gokhale's posture method.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:48 PM

Thanks @Beth, I was just looking at that book on Amazon. I need some new reading material so I might as well!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:07 PM

@Beth, I have the same condition but I try to address more normal back trouble LOL. My specialist told me not to "bend, twist, flex or rotate" because my whole spine would also have to be fused. Needless to say, I can't actually be that good but I try to stay in a "sore" state rather than "pain."

2
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on April 20, 2012
at 06:32 PM

I'm not a fitness expert and I'm no chiropractor but what you're dealing with is 10 years of bad posture it's probably going to take a lot of patience, experimenting and testing.

First off I would double check this ergo checklist:

hack-my-chronic-lower-back-pain-(desk-job)

Secondly I would do these movement and do them often:

  1. Deadlift

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX8jgCFXYTU

  1. Squat

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kawBY5p29fQ

Progression is important with these lifts; don't go out and try a 440 lbs pull right out of the gate.

The key is not focusing on your core, that's like putting a cast on a broken bone just on the break. What you want to do is strengthen all the muscles around your problem, that way the muscles around your problem area will support you and your new muscles will act as a brace.

FULL DISCLOSURE: This is just a "hack" from a fitness hack; you probably want to see a good Chiro or Occupational Therapist to find out what's really going on...

EDIT: I forgot to mention the mother of all powerlifts (IMHO): The Power Clean. This movement incorporates almost every huge muscle of your body, and if you can throw in a jerk or a push press at the end of the movement you are going to strengthen your entire body which in turn should reverse any weird posture quirk you might have.

Progression, progression, progression is important with this movement. Start with a weight that's in the range of 15%-20% of your max deadlift and measure and track progress.

If you could progress to BECOME A BEAST AT THE POWER CLEAN I can almost guarantee (I hate using the word, but that's how confident that I am) you are going to cure almost any core ailment or posture ailment.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:46 PM

"you're dealing with is 10 years of bad posture" - I couldn't agree more. I'm hopeful that I can remedy this with good posture and stretching. I did a very similar desk set up, and everything looks good. I'm a huge fan of deads and squats, but find that I'm not able to do them as often as I'd like because of the chronic pain. I got way into OL and Power lifting from the CrossFit days, and have had people assure me that my form is good. I also have no problem taking it slow. I don't look around when I'm in the gym: "if it's heavy for me, then it's lifting heavy."

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:11 PM

"FULL DISCLOSURE: This is just a "hack" from a fitness hack; you probably want to see a good Chiro or Occupational Therapist to find out what's really going on" +1

2
E2db1519690001648433e8109eb2c013

on April 20, 2012
at 06:07 PM

If the stuff you've been trying hasn't helped, you might have a structural defect or injury that needs medical attention. Some back pain can even be caused by stuff like kidney disease.

Another thing to consider is how your coordination-balance-muscular habit have been warped by the pain, or may have caused it. The only approach that deals directly with these matters is the Alexander Technique. (See the report from the British Medical Journal for a quick look).

http://www.stat.org.uk/pages/ateam.htm

The STAT website should link to teacher's organizations in your area. If you can't find a teacher nearby, contact the nearest one anyway, they may be able to put you in touch with an unlisted teacher in your neighborhood.

1
6ddb22a034e1a4e3a96d9f1907bb37e2

(302)

on April 26, 2012
at 01:43 AM

1)I highly recommend starting a yoga practice, but it's of the upmost importance to find a good teacher. Usually you can tell by how filled the class is and how many regulars there are, but not always.

2) Structural Integration AKA "Rolfing" would also be highly beneficial. This form of bodywork helps to envourage proper alignment

3) is possible that you may be dehydrated? Low back pain can often be a symptom of dehydration, try increasing your water if in doubt

1
9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:45 PM

The walk 5 miles is a great idea,this was also suggested by my surgeon. I would go to the college track almost every night, after work and knock out 20 walking laps. Here are some other things that have helped me.

-Vitamin D/ Magnesium/ K2. I assume your dealing with some type of degenerative disc disease and rather than treat the sympotom Im a fan of slow the progression of the disease. These absolutely need to be optimized, but dont expect a quick fix.

-Inversion tables, these can be had relatively cheap on Amazon and I recommend at least trying one.

-Also try and find somebody in your are who does accu-pressure or dynamic release method, I was able to gain some relief with this. Good luck.

Lastly, I hate to say it, but if my back is really screwed and and I cant get better on my own, one MELOXICAM and its better within two days and it stays that way for at least a month.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:55 PM

I've been taking Vitamin D3 (6,000IU/day) and Mg Glycinate (400mg) each night for about 1.5 years. I haven't taken any K2 though. No one in my entire family has back problems that I know of. I haven't heard of Meloxicam, but I'm leaning toward taking something while I work out the details of a non-medicated approach, so I appreciate the recommendation. Two recommendations for walking is enough to try it. There's a track right by my house!

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:55 PM

Oops, I meant Vit D each morning, Mg each night.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 25, 2012
at 11:48 PM

My husband struggled with desk job induced back pain, and I have to second the inversion table. He did that every day after work for months and it helped a lot.

0
D3abaaead845d9da842938514ddb24bf

on October 08, 2012
at 05:25 PM

I have the same problem,and I have found chiropractors/acupuncture to be magical in fixing it. Also try swimming / flutter kicks to strengthen little muscles in your back. Sorry feel better!

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on October 17, 2012
at 03:56 PM

Thanks. I'm in physical therapy now, and that combined with having an ergo specialist set up my work space has made huge improvements but I still have room for improvement.

0
450e73b1c658d63b1deb5544a298a7f5

on August 03, 2012
at 09:32 AM

Why cann't you try Actipatch here http://www.internationaldrugmart.com/over-the-counter-meds/actipatch.shtml. I used it for a year, and it worked well for me.

0
E103e4167c321e63e6dbc3c452f9e958

on April 26, 2012
at 02:24 AM

Hi I blogged about proper desk setup the other day and thought you may find the video I made helpful. I also work a 9-5 job and can relate to your pains. Humans weren't designed to sit in a sedentary position all day.

Take a look at the link below and let me know if you have any questions

http://christiangolez.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/office-yoga-series-desk-setup/

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 25, 2012
at 11:55 PM

Muscle Balance Therapy is what finally got my husband out of the desk job pit of pain. It is a self guided program, with specific strengthening and stretching exercises. I guess sitting at a desk causes some muscles to overtighten and others to become too weak, and most workouts target all muscles equally, tightening the already tight ones more while the loose ones tighten up, ending up with the more strength, but the same imbalance.

He did close to 3 hours a day of the stretches and exercises, I don't think you have to be that intense, but he was desperate, and things seemed to get significantly better within a month, and he is relatively pain free now, but does need to do maintenance exercises or it creeps back in.

0
60dffe254787a2e7a96dedc87d11e5c5

(110)

on April 20, 2012
at 05:07 PM

I also have a desk job (in the web design field) and suffered back pain from sitting all day. Then I tried a yoga ball and multiple walk breaks in my work day that last anywhere from 5-20 mins...and I havent noticed any major back pain since! I've been doing this for probably 3 or 4 weeks now. Moving around every 30 mins at work is a good idea that you're already doing too :)

60dffe254787a2e7a96dedc87d11e5c5

(110)

on April 20, 2012
at 05:27 PM

Ah, I think it's important to have the keyboard at about waist height (or an inch above) so your hands can almost rest on it comfortably. I also find it easier to maintain posture if my feet can sit flat on the ground (something I'm still getting use to!). I hope your back gets better!

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Wow, another rec for Esther Gokhale. I think I'll pick up her book too. Thanks

B4596b07beac42c88ea7b3eab1c4c711

(95)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:10 PM

I recently resolved some back pain by adopting some primal podtures demonstrated in this video directed to office staff at Google: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yYJ4hEYudE. I did this in combination with barefoot walking several times a week. Perhaps you will also find this talk/presentation benificial for your own situation.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 05:14 PM

Ok, good to know. I've only been doing the breaks every 30 mins for about two weeks. That's the second suggestion for an exercise ball though! I'll have to figure that one out, I think this desk is too high so I'd be reaching up to my keyboard (I'm 5'8" with shoes on).

0
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:37 PM

My dad had this issue- he is an accountant, and has been sitting in a desk for years. The strengthening of his hip flexors made a really huge difference, under the guidance of a physiotherapist, and improving his posture when moving around. One of the easiest ways to improve his posture, he found, was to swap out his chair for an exercise ball in a stand. It's a great alternative to a standing desk (which he found impairs his productivity a lot, and because he's working with clients a lot he needs to be sitting with them).

I would personally look for a good physiotherapist, my dad has found his to be a lifesaver, he really took him step-by-step through what little exercises he should be doing when, how to keep a proper posture, and even helped him map out his office desk/system to make sure everything is optimal. Also, because my dad had caused pretty serious injury to his back from years of poor posture/sitting in a desk/playing hockey, it was important to have that professional support I think, so that he was able to speed up the healing process and get back to feeling mobile. It seems like you have most of the parts of the equation for back health, so it might be that you need the guidance of a professional. Or, maybe just give a different sitting device, such as the exercise ball, a shot before, they are pretty reasonably priced.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:44 PM

Thanks! I haven't tried the exercise ball, but I did try a standing desk (included now in my OP). My current cubicle desk is a little high for me, so I have a foot rest... it might be too high for the ex ball, BUT my work is lining up an Ergo specialist so I'll ask. I think you're right though, I'm doing all the suggestions but maybe I need someone to help me focus and perfect the stretches/exercises a bit more. I'll try to find a physiotherapist (which I've never even heard of until now).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:07 PM

Finding a physio is a good suggestion.

0
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 20, 2012
at 04:26 PM

What kind of shoes are you wearing? In particular, how much of a heel drop do your shoes have?

Could you go to a standing desk setup?

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