Working from home? Try these tips to avoid back pain.

According to a new survey by Hinge Health, Inc., working from home may be harming American’s physical health.

The report titled, New Health Risks of the Remote Workplace, surveyed more than 900 US remote workers. Since working from home, 45% reported back and joint pain. Of those reporting pain, “71% said the pain has either gotten worse or it’s a new pain they’re experiencing since working from home.”

Most back pain is caused by a muscle injury or strain and, especially when working at home, can be a result of poor posture, a lack of regular exercise or improper lifting. Fortunately, this type of pain should go away on its own in two to four weeks.

It’s understandable that during the COVID-19 pandemic, many may choose not to go to the doctor for an evaluation. If the condition is not serious, you may want to try these home treatments recommended by Dr. Jonathan Waldbaum.

  • ICE – If back pain is caused by an injury, applying ice instead of heat within the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours will significantly reduce inflammation.
  • PRACTICE GOOD POSTURE – Slumping over is a common way to develop back pain as it puts additional stress on various parts of the back. Choose chairs or furniture that support the lower back. If maintaining good posture is difficult for you, using a brace with lumbar support can help keep your spine aligned.
  • MOVE AROUND – Too much time spent in any one position — sitting or standing — can trigger back pain. Take a five-minute break to get up and move around the house or make a habit to stand up and move every time you receive a phone call.
  • STRETCH – Low back pain may be caused by tight muscles. Stretching at home is an easy fix. Stretching throughout the day is a good way to prevent tight muscles.

When to Seek a Medical Professional

However, if you are experiencing muscle spasms, shooting pain, pain that comes unexpectedly, muscle weakness, or chronic back pain, you may want to consider seeing our Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist, Jonathan Waldbaum, MD. Dr. Waldbaum’s treatment plans are designed to help patients improve function and mobility without the need for surgery.

Dr. Waldbaum is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine and Pain Medicine, so you can be confident knowing that he is dedicated to getting you back to feeling and moving like you again.


Source: Hinge Health, Inc., New Health Risks of the Remote Workplace 2020.