A couple years ago I was picking up a bag of coal and discovered just why all of the folks with disc problems seemed to be in so much pain when they walked into the chiropractic office I used to work in. I suddenly had a whole new level of empathy for them.

Thankfully my back did get better, though it took several months before it felt nearly normal again. I still have to be careful, so no more incorrect lifting or slouching in my desk chair for hours on end. I honestly didn’t spend much time thinking about my back health until it hurt! There were a few things I found that helped while my back was healing, and since I’m not the only one with an aging back and a desk job, I thought I’d share them with you.

Most desk chairs don’t have ideal ergonomics. I never understood why so many office workers used lumbar support pillows, but I sure do now! I have one with an adjustable elastic strap so it stays in place even when I get up for a stretch break or tea refill. That little extra support makes a big difference.

Right after I’d injured my back, I quickly discovered that the most comfortable place to sit was on an exercise ball. Something about the posture hurt my back far less than a regular chair. I use a special one at my desk that has a base similar to an office chair. I switch between that and the office chair with lumbar support depending on what feels most comfortable on any given day.

Strangely, when my back hurts the most, walking makes it feel better. That’s one reason why I take frequent breaks and walk to the kitchen, the laundry, or the mailbox. If it’s nice outside, I’ll walk around the yard for a few minutes.

In addition to walking, I looked up stretches and exercises suggested by physical therapists. There were a few really good videos on YouTube by healthcare professionals who had been through disc problems themselves and I recognized their suggested exercises as the same ones that the chiropractor I worked for would recommend to his patients. Doing these exercises every day probably helped my back the most. Just a simple back bend feels good when my back is aching!

The other thing that is absolutely fabulous is a topical treatment called Penetrex. You can find it at a number of stores and online, and it’s a miracle cream! I don’t like any of the muscle rubs that have a really strong menthol component because the burning sensation is uncomfortable to me. This doesn’t burn at all, and I keep a jar in my desk to apply anytime my back or neck feels a bit sore.

I hope you’ve found a few tips to help you keep your back healthy and happy whether you work from home or an office.