The global coronavirus pandemic is forcing all us to adapt to new lifestyles, new routines, and new habits. To say that almost all we think of these days is the coronavirus would not be an exaggeration. Indeed, this fluid and constantly evolving situation is at the forefront of our minds and is affecting every aspect of our culture, our society, and our way of life. However, for those with ongoing spine-related issues, the suffering doesn’t stop. In fact, the pain could even get worse during the Covid-19 pandemic as stress levels are higher and opportunities for social interaction and exercise are more difficult to come by. To top it all off, many people are for the first time carrying out all of their work responsibilities and social interactions while being confined to a computer, and are thereby, putting added pressure on their spine. Therefore, while it is challenging to manage spine-related pain during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible and we would like to provide a few great tips to help with back pain prevention and management during these turbulent times.
Most People Should Keep Moving
If you’ve recently had an accident or have been injured, you will want to be properly evaluated by a medical professional and follow all of their guidance. However, if neither applies and you live with ongoing neck or back pain, don’t stop moving during the pandemic! In fact, if you are experiencing an “achy” back or general stiffness, pain, and soreness, movement can help improve your condition and give you a greater sense of well-being! Movement, such as simply going for a walk outside or on your treadmill, is really your best course of action to stay a step ahead of pain.
Watching the news coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic can be very stressful and cause anxiety, neither of which are good for those suffering with spine-related pain. While it is important to stay updated and informed, it is not necessary to dwell on the news coverage. You could always opt to watch the news one hour per day, and during the rest of the day, find an activity that brings you pleasure and releases stress. Some great options include exercise, yoga, reading, mindfulness, relaxation, yoga, or taking a warm bath. Remember, now more than ever, self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity – especially for those suffering with chronic pain.
Socialize Your Way Through “Social Distancing”
While social distancing may make it impossible to meet up for coffee, have a conversation at your favorite bookstore, or go to an exercise class, that doesn’t mean that you have to stop socializing. Thanks to technology, there are so many options to stay connected with friends, colleagues, and loved ones “virtually” with online chats and video conversations. Your place of worship may even be offering online services. Be sure to check on what is available and get involved, as prolonged social isolation has negative health consequences – especially for those suffering with chronic pain.
Be Mindful Of Good Posture
While being confined to work and socialize from computer screens, be sure to be very mindful of maintaining good posture. Sitting up straight and having proper support is essential. Further, your screen should be the proper height, enabling you to keep your chin at a level position. If you are required to move your chin up or down to work or socialize on your computer screen, adjustments need to be made, as you will be putting undue stress on your spine. It is also a good idea to get up and walk at least every 30 minutes to an hour. Otherwise, your upper and lower back could be impacted to the extent that causes a pain flare-up.
During this time while we focus on not spreading the Coronavirus, we should equally focus on positive thinking, goodness, human decency, and spreading kindness. Together, we will get through the pandemic! Stridewell Tipsread article