Did you know? Back pain is one of the most common reasons people miss work or go to the doctor, and it’s a leading cause of disability globally. According to the Mayo Clinic, risk factors for back pain include age (starting at age 30), lack of exercise, excess weight, disease (e.g., arthritis, cancer), improper lifting, mental illness and even smoking. As you may have experienced, there are different types of back pain including aches, shooting pain, tingling pain and more.
Back pain can be acute, meaning short term, and can feel like a sudden, sharp pain or a dull, ongoing ache. This type of pain typically lasts from days to a few weeks, and usually heals on its own with little to no treatment. Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), however, can speed up recovery for acute back pain and help prevent future back injury. Chronic back pain is less common than acute back pain, typically lasting more than 3 months and requiring consistent treatment including electric muscle stimulation.
This article offers easy, practical tips you can implement right away to avoid back pain in different settings like the workplace, at home and at the gym.
How to Avoid Back Pain at Work
Whether you work from home or at an office, physicians, physical therapists and fitness professionals agree that desk jobs pose the greatest threat to acute back pain, chronic back pain and even back injury. Sitting at a desk puts stress on the lower back, often causing muscle tension, persistent aches and shooting pains.
You can easily avoid back pain at work by making small adjustments that yield major benefits. Physical therapists and fitness professionals recommend changing positions or moving around every 20 to 45 minutes. You’ll also want to make sure your seating arrangement supports proper posture to help mitigate back pain. Many offices are equipped with ergonomic chairs. Some workers even use standing desks to help lessen pressure to the lower back caused by sitting--often avoiding back pain altogether.
If you prefer a sitting position though, make sure your chair provides lumbar support to help reduce lower back pain. You also want to set the height of your chair so that the keyboard is below your elbow height; keep your desktop monitor or laptop just below eye level. Make sure your desk chair has armrests and a swivel base. Lastly, always remember that with PowerDot’s easy to use app based muscle stimulation and portability, you can bring it to the office any day you need some quick muscle recovery or lower back relief.
How to Avoid Back Pain at Home
When you get home after a long day, the first order of business is to kick off your shoes and flop down on the couch. We couldn’t agree more. But it’s also the perfect time to incorporate electrical muscle stimulation massage into your evening routine to help alleviate muscle tension from your work day, or to support ongoing recovery from chronic back pain.
Electrical muscle stimulation uses electrical impulses to cause muscles to contract, which helps strengthen or relax muscles depending on the type of EMS program you select based on your fitness, health or recovery needs. PowerDot EMS technology is discreet and easy to use, especially in the privacy and comfort of your own home. Our team of fitness experts recommend setting your PowerDot to massage during the evening to help ease your muscles from discomfort. Electric muscle stimulation massage promotes blood flow, decreases muscle stiffness and helps reduce muscle tension.
Recovery EMS programs can be used on a consistent basis in tandem with your exercise routine to keep muscles active and engaged as well as to accelerate and improve muscle recovery post workout. Which brings us to our next point: how to avoid back pain at home once you’ve corrected any pre-existing back pain or back injury.
As much as possible, get up and move. Starting your day with even 15 minutes of exercise helps wake up muscles and joints and, over time, supports good back health. It’s also important to support your back at night. This is where your mattress comes in. If your mattress is too soft, your body sinks in and often remains in the same position all night. Sleeping on a firm mattress is key to avoiding back pain and muscle stiffness. A firm mattress encourages your body to adjust positions throughout the night, which keeps muscles moving so that you don’t wake up with a stiff back.
How to Avoid Back Pain at the Gym
Here’s where electrical muscle stimulation really takes center stage. Physical therapists and fitness professionals agree that a lack of strength and flexibility in your core is the biggest cause of back pain. Your core supports your back muscles and impacts everything from posture to gait. It’s important to incorporate core strengthening exercises into your workout routine to avoid back pain at the gym.
Electric muscle stimulation, when used correctly and consistently, helps strengthen individual muscles as well as muscle groups. You can use PowerDot EMS technology on almost any part of the body to help you warm up, workout strong, and cool down and recover. Our EMS device offers a variety of fitness programs designed to help you build muscle strength, increase endurance and resistance, boost explosive strength to overcome fitness plateaus, and improve overall fitness performance.
On the recovery end, daily or weekly EMS treatments can help reduce existing back pain or even help you avoid back pain entirely. Electric muscle stimulation recovery and massage modes engage muscles and promote proper blood circulation, which flushes lactic acid from the muscles. Support ongoing back muscle health by incorporating back strengthening and stretching exercises into your day-to-day or workout warm-up routines.
A strong, healthy back truly translates to improved quality of life. The consistent message here, whether at work, at home or at the gym, is to move your body as much as possible. You can avoid back pain and keep your muscles limber in any setting by changing positions often, using ergonomic equipment, exercising regularly, strengthening your core, and incorporating electric muscle stimulation massage and recovery treatments into your day-to-day.