How to heal your back pain and avoid investing in an expensive office chair
October 6, 2015
Back pain, is affecting more and more people these days. Long ago we use to run, hunt and plant or sit on a throne and die of gluttony and these days we bow in front of the computer while we have to force ourselves to move or even pay to practice sports.
If you are suffering from back pain, please read my story, maybe my life hack might help you reduce your back pain. And if you are just curious, my suggestion might help you avoid getting back pains. I had back pain for over two years and I couldn’t exactly tell what was causing it. I was doing sports regularly, going swimming, doing walks, cycling, basket ball, etc. Yet I had back pain and it didn’t want to go away. So I was starting to accuse my bike, my bed mattress, or my shoes… Since I couldn’t figure out what was causing it, I decided to go to a chiropractor in Grand Baie.
He made me do an x-ray and analysed it and said my back isn’t straight. I then read somewhere that they all tend to say that. Then he said I had some anomalies regarding the bone sizes in my spine, some bones seemed underdeveloped and I needed to strengthen my back with muscles to compensate for the difference. But all these years before I didn’t have back pain!?
He then scheduled with me several meetings where he cracked my bones, and put me in a sort of machine which was supposed to fix the issue. Also applied techniques of coldness. Fast forward into the future, after some months, my issue was still present so I decided to just live with it for a while until someone recommended me another practitioner in Mont Choisy.
I went to see her and she showed me a series of exercises I could do. No cracking and all that sorts. She also recommended swimming on my back. So I started doing all those exercises for several months and swimming on my back a lot. I felt no progression at all. I also followed the advise of raising all my computer screens to a height where I do not have to move my head down or up but watch on it centred.
What was NEVER spoken of was what kind of office chair did I use to sit on +/-8 hours a day. I had a nice expensive manager chair covered with leather and rolls plus arm rests. You can turn around 360° in it, roll around, tilt and apply a lock mechanism. While I was expanding my office I ran out of those nice fancy office chairs where I assigned one per worker so I sacrificed mine and took one of those old chairs from home. Those very basic ones that you can find in snacks in Mauritius. You know those ones that have just 4 metal legs, a wooden plate on it and then 2 more pipes for the back rest? See my photo of it in this article. I used that. In that chair you more or less sit straight. There is no arm or head rest. You cannot tilt. You cannot roll around. You cannot dance in your chair and do things like “this is how we role” with your colleagues! You cannot move left or right to your colleague by making strange movements that are not good to your back. Believe it or not, this chair solved my back problem! I noticed significant reduction in my back pain in a very short amount of time. My chair didn’t look beautiful neither matching with my office design but YET it was very good for my back so I kept it and since several years I have only been using such chairs as office chairs. Whenever I had business meetings I would get funny remarks about my chair! -with no pun intended. So I started recommending this chair to anyone who had back pains or find it funny that I used that considering that it didn’t match at all the office design.
There have been days, weeks and months where sometimes I didn’t do any sports and worked 10-16 hours a day. When I used that chair, I never felt any more back pains. If I was pushing the work schedule a bit to much my body would signal that it’s time to go for a swim and that I’m pushing it to far. But I never got that back pain back like I had before. So in my case, by simply changing the office chair with a simple, cheap, hard and solid chair did the thing. And it also was good to raise all the computer screens. I absolutely avoid using laptops.
Can I get haemorrhoids by using such a chair?
Some people say you can get haemorrhoids by using a hard flat surface chair. I think that’s not really an issue to be concerned as the causes of haemorrhoids can occur by both using a hard or soft surface, what causes the haemorrhoids is simply by being seated to long, lack of movement and there are more reasons. However if you have haemorrhoids on a hard surface it will be more painful. So, when you work in an office, each hour you should stand up and do a small walk and watch an object in the far distance, this will be good for your eyes, and the movement for your back and also not being seated constantly can avoid you other issues.
Bad seating posture
Quite often in the 19:30 MBC News when they show call centres in Mauritius you see young people seated in a very bad positions looking down on a laptop and not seated straight in a beautiful upholstery or leather office chairs. It’s only a matter of time that those persons will definitely complain about back pain. Some employers in Mauritius need to review the ergonomics of their work place or it should be common practice for all companies. Considering the amount of places where this applies, one could frown. Companies should also encourage their employees to use healthy work practices and also encourage to do sports and eat healthy. For example in Japan the teams do sports together like a morning jog. We are far from that…
Just pay a bit more attention next time when you visit a place be it a company or public office, just have a look at their work environment and ask yourself which ergonomics could be improved.
To conclude, my story might not necessarily fix your back pain as it also depends what kind of back pain you have but some back pains are quite common and some others could be more complex. Some people are absolutely fine with a nice comfortable upholstered office chair while I’m better off with a plain simple hard chair that forces you to sit straight. Ergonomics is also the practice of finding what fits best for a worker and not all solutions will be appropriate for all persons.
Disclaimer: I do not provide individual medical advice or recommendations. I recommend you to contact your primary care doctor. My article is my story.
→ What does Ergonomics mean
Tell me your story regarding back problems and how you fixed it in the comments section below.
How to heal your back pain and avoid investing in an expensive office chair by Dietmar Reigber