I am no stranger to back pain.
Tasks which are considered effortless, such as washing the dishes, I found to be a painful struggle. My favourite activities left me in agony for hours afterwards. Aware that I needed to address the debilitating pain in my back, I put it off, naively believing it would eventually go away with time.
I was wrong.
In fact, my pain worsened, and before long, I began experiencing aches in my shoulders too. Hobbies that once cleared my head and brought me joy now felt like chores. This was when I realised enough was enough.
Although I am an employee of HumbleWorks, I have a story to tell which many people will relate to. The whole blog post is a true reflection of my back pain problems, and the lengths I went to in order to find the solution.
Back pain, foot pain, and everything in between
I decided to visit a physiotherapist for treatment. After six sessions, my shoulder pain had mildly receded, but I still wasn’t able to bend my arm at the elbow and turn my arm outwards. After many more uncomfortable months plagued by back and shoulder pain, I started to develop pain in my feet as well. I visited another physiotherapist for 8 more sessions.
It turned out that my shoulder and foot pain were all symptoms of the issues with my back.
Over time, I started to understand what was happening to my body and soon my foot pain eased, but my back and shoulder were still nowhere close to being healthy and functional. After many more painful evenings of washing dishes and lots of uncomfortable surf sessions, I visited a chiropractor.
Desk jobs and Chiropractors
Working a desk job meant I often used to sit hunched over my keyboard with shoulders rounded and muscles tight with stress. According to my chiropractor, this had been wreaking havoc on my joints and my mental state.
In the endless hours spent slouching in front of my laptop, my posture had deteriorated and the right side of my back was working a lot harder than the left side (I’m right-handed). He recommended a few more sessions and advised that I invest in a standing desk to create a safe, ergonomically-sound work environment. Find out what my Chiropractor had to say about the HumbleWorks standing desk.
Regretfully, I didn’t rush out and buy a standing desk. I did, however, continue the treatment, but eventually reached a point where therapy had only provided some relief. My shoulder pain eased off and I had full mobility of my right arm again. But the root of all these issues persisted: my back problem.
Eventually, I was advised to get a scan and possible x-rays in an attempt to resolve my back pain; an NHS physio told me I would need to do a series of exercises every day for the rest of my life. The x-rays revealed that slouching over my laptop for so many years had caused my lower thoracic intervertebral discs to compress substantially, resulting in constant back ache which soon impacted my shoulders and feet.
Three things have improved my back pain and mobility
Since then, I have felt immense improvements in my back pain due to three factors:
- I do a series of exercises every day to relieve the pain and to strengthen my back and shoulder muscles.
- I underwent chiropractic and physical therapy over a period of 12 months.
- I now work every day with a Stan 1 HumbleWorks standing desk to ensure my shoulders are back, my spine is straight, and my chin is lifted up.
Although the road to a totally pain-free life is a long one, I am on the mend and able to continue doing the things I love with a lot less pain.
The main point of this story is that our bodies are not meant to be slouched over for so many hours a day, month in and month out. If we were, there wouldn’t be an ever-growing back pain pandemic sweeping rapidly across the globe.
If you’re experiencing back pain, don’t ignore it. It’s extremely unlikely it will fix itself. Consult a chiropractor or physiotherapist and speak to them about rehabilitating the affected area and if an ergonomic standing desk would help your pain. Don’t let it get you down, there are solutions. Help is available for you to improve your posture and get you on the mend.
Good luck with your journey to recovery, and remember: shoulders back, chin up, and own your workday!