Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How much rest is needed before my back pain goes away?"
I'm a 38 yea rold writer and my back always hurts. Is it my chair? Should I get tested? How much rest should help?
I'm sorry to hear about your back pain. If your pain is worsened by prolonged sitting, it may be due to a problem with your muscles or with the nerves that exit your spinal column in your back. Your primary care doctor can perform a physical exam to determine whether your pain is related to the muscles, nerves, or bones, and whether you should have any radiology imaging performed. An ideal workstation would have the following components: 1) Hands, wrists and feet parallel to the floor 2) Head in line with the torso 3) Elbows bent between 90 and 120 degrees 4) Feet are fully supported on the floor (if your feet do not touch the floor, you can put a foot rest or some books so that they are supported on that) 5) Well-padded seat 6) Knees are at about the same height as the hips You should take frequent breaks, e.g. once every hour, to give your back a change of activity. Rest is actually not recommended for most muscular and nerve-related back pain. A gentle exercise program is thought to be better than bed rest, such as walking 20 minutes several times per day during your back pain. You should speak with your primary care doctor about some easy exercises that you can do at home to prevent further back strain.
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