While it seems you cannot turn on the TV or open a health magazine without hearing about all of the health issues that desk jobs are contributing to, many people forget that working on your feet carries its own set of health hazards as well. Working on your feet all day can be exhausting. From retail to nurses, construction workers to police, there are many occupations that have require workers to spend a lot of time on their feet. In fact, about half of all workers in the world spend approximately 75 percent of their workday standing. And all of those hours on your feet can take their toll on your body. As well as pain in the feet and legs, spending that much time on your feet commonly contributes to lower back pain. Here, we address tips to relieve lower back pain when you are unable to avoid physically taxing work.
How to Relieve Lower Back Pain When You Are on Your Feet All Day
Take frequent breaks as possible
If you get back pain caused by sitting at your desk, we recommend getting up and moving as one way to relieve your pain. The same is true if you are on your feet all day. But instead of moving around, take a break, sit down and relax for a few minutes. This allows your body from top-down to relax. If you are constantly on your feet all day—standing or moving—your body becomes compressed, which can lead to lower back pain, sore feet, strained muscles, etc.
If you’re on your feet moving throughout the day constantly, you are already changing positions constantly, so simply taking a break like mentioned above is the way to go. If you are on an assembly line (or something similar) where you are standing stationary all day, change the way you are standing. Whatever feels most comfortable to you, whether that’s rocking from one side to the other every few minutes, changing your posture, etc. You might make a point of walking to refill your coffee cup or grabbing a drink every 30 minutes or so.
To Relieve Lower Back Pain, Stretch it out
This may sound simple, but it goes a long way. STRETCH! As we have written before, stretching can do wonders to alleviate back pain. If you have a space at work—perhaps a break room—try these stretches throughout the day. It’s also a good idea to stretch in the morning when you get to work, whether you are going to on your feet or not.
Begin by lying on your back on the floor with feet flat on the ground, knees bent. Keeping your knee gently bent, lift one foot up, clasping your hands on the back of the knee for support. When you feel a gentle stretch, stop and hold for thirty seconds. Then repeat with the other leg.
Knees to chest
In the same start position as the last stretch, lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground, about hip-width apart, gently bring one knee to your chest, using your hands on your knee or shin for support. Hold for thirty seconds before switching legs. You should feel this stretch in your glutes, which is a muscle group critical to lower back health and back pain relief.
Again, beginning flat on your back with knees bent, keep your shoulders flat on the floor while bringing knees together and moving either to the left or right and then lowering to the ground. To reiterate, do this lower back stretch so that both shoulders remain firmly on the ground. Hold for thirty seconds before moving knees to the other side.
To wrap up this series of back stretches, find a wall and lay with your buttocks as close to the wall as possible. Rest both legs up on the wall and hold for five to ten minutes to relax your lower back.
One thing to look at as well is the type of footwear you use. There is more to it than just, “This shoe is comfortable.” You need to choose the right shoe for your type of foot, the arch of your foot and so on. And in relation to that, depending on the type of arch your foot has (say, flat feet), looking at some good orthotics to support your arch and give you better posture is a good option as well.
For personalized tips about how you can relieve lower back pain, even if you work on your feet all day, be sure to contact us today. Our licensed practitioners specialize in treating and managing pain of all kinds and are ready to help you address your head on. In addition to the strategies outlined above, we offer numerous pain treatments to combat pain at its source.