Back Pain Relief to Remote Workforces

7. December 2021

physiotherapist advice on back pain relief to remote workforces

Although not a new thing, remote working has become more popular in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its early stages, we eagerly welcomed this new way of working. Yet two years on and counting, have there been any adverse effects?


Whether it be lack of productivity, insufficient exercise, poor diet, eye strain or back pain.  Remote working now has a lot to answer for.

Today we will discuss: 

  • the view of physiotherapists on back pain management 
  • common causes of back pain 
  • physiotherapists tips for pain prevention

How has remote working affected people? 

Remote working has affected many of us due to the blurring of office and home. It has impacted our families, plus our well-being and physical health.

According to numerous studies including those of Forbes and Verywell Health, they found that when remote working you can be: 

  • exposed to higher levels of everyday stressors, 
  • less satisfied with your job, 
  • have poorer relationships with colleagues 
  • are at risk of isolation

Studies also demonstrate, as remote workers, we’re at greater risk of mental health issues, eye strain and musculoskeletal pain including back pain from improper desk set-up.

Unfortunately, we’ve been forced to switch from a physical to a digital workplace, with a less desirable workspace and unsuitable furniture.

Alongside not getting enough sleep or exercise because we're working late into the night at home, over time this can lead to health problems like back pain.

A detrimental increase of reported issues relating to back pain has been recorded together with requested recommendations and practices of physiotherapists on back pain management.

How can remote workers avoid these adverse effects? 

Back pain is the largest single cause of disability in the UK, with lower back pain alone accounting for 11% of the total disability of the UK population.

Source: NHS England » The National Back Pain Pathway

With such statistics, it’s no wonder back pain is a major concern and it's easy to see how remote working can influence your health and wellbeing.

In another recent study by the British Chiropractic Association, it was found that back pain is common in one-third of the population.

It can be caused by a number of factors of remote working, including prolonged sitting or standing, lifting heavy objects, and improper posture.

It’s important for people to be aware of these potential causes, as they may lead to serious injuries over time if not addressed.

The best form of attack for physiotherapists on back pain management is arming you with knowledge of:

  • the common causes of back pain,
  • how to manage it effectively
  • some self-help that physiotherapists may prescribe.

Most back pain will depart as quickly as it came, with no need for treatment.

Yet in some cases, the pain and unease can linger and you may need to seek medical help from your GP or physiotherapist.

Narrowing down the triggers of your back pain can help you alleviate or avoid symptoms. Common causes of back pain:

  • Repetitive movement 
  • Weight gain
  • Weak, stressed or tight muscles
  • Poor posture
  • Excessive exercise

Back pain can be a result of traumatic injury, an accident or the after-effects of surgery. But most back pain problems develop over time due to lifestyle choices, work environment, sports or age.

Help from physiotherapists on back pain management 

With many of us experiencing continued episodes of back pain throughout our lives, it’s usually at the worst point that we seek the advice of doctors or physiotherapists on back pain management.

Your doctor may order imaging studies such as x-rays, MRIs or other diagnostic tests to rule out serious conditions, such as cancer or infection.

You may also need to take some tests to determine if your back pain is caused by an underlying condition such as kidney disease or arthritis, which can be managed by medications.

In order to receive the correct physiotherapy treatment and advice your physiotherapist will:

  • Enquire about past episodes
  • Perform a musculoskeletal examination
  • Identify the causes and extent of your symptoms
  • Explore your range of motion

Gathering this information allows for your physiotherapist to allocate the best treatment and tailored exercise program for your needs. 

Plus, it allows them to eliminate other medical ailments or raise points of concern for further investigation.

How long will my back pain last? 

Whether you’re experiencing ‘specific’ or ‘non-specific back pain’, it can fall into three categories.

Each category can be defined by the length of time it takes for your back pain to clear.

  • Acute - less than a few weeks 
  • Sub-acute - between 4-12 weeks 
  • Chronic - longer than 3 months

Focusing on back pain management and restoring movement and function, your physiotherapist will observe how your nerves, muscle and bones are affected. 

They will then be able to assign treatment and implement a tailored program.

Physiotherapy treatments for back pain may include:

  • Strengthening and stretching exercises
  • Manual therapy 
  • Electrotherapy
  • Acupuncture

The number of physiotherapy sessions needed will greatly depend on the severity of your back pain and the cause of it.

Monitoring your progression, your physiotherapist will be able to give you a detailed update and forecast of required sessions.

How can I help my back pain go away? 

Taking into account your lifestyle, occupation, activity level, or past injuries; physiotherapists on back pain management bring it all down to balance.

You have to make sure you’re doing everything right for YOU!

To give yourself a fighting chance against back pain or any other adverse effects of remote working, you should try to incorporate the following into your daily routine.

Self-help for back pain management:

  • Stay active
  • Take breaks
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stretch 
  • Keep good posture
  • Adjust your work environment
  • Good night's sleep
  • Nutritious meals

Don’t let back pain rule you 

When experiencing severe back pain, you need help NOW!

At CK Physio we offer a virtual consultation, so you can consult with our physiotherapists long before even setting foot inside our clinic.

This initial method of consultation offers you convenience and safety, plus, saves time and money on travel costs.

It also provides an opportunity to discuss your situation from the privacy of your own environment and our physiotherapists to assess you in the comfort of your surroundings.

Get in touch today to see how CK Physio can help you get back to doing what you love and working in a healthier remote setting.

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