Lower Back Pain has become very common in the workplace due to us using computers more and more during our daily work day. We have put together a Lower Back Pain syndrome guide to help identify any problems you may have and how they can be fixed.

Lower back pain (general)

Clinical names for this condition: Spinal Stenosis, Spondylosthesis, Degenerative Disk Disease

What is it?
Lower Back pain is a sudden or gradual onset of pain in the low back. The nature of the condition can be quite complex as many structures around the low spine can contribute to the discomfort.

Site/Area of pain

Pain mostly between the bottom of the ribs and the top of the legs at the back.

Type of pain/Symptoms
  • Dull, aching pain in the low back can be constant or movement related. 
  • Pain may radiate down into the buttock and sometimes in the front, side, or back of your leg. 
  • The pain may become worse with activity or with prolonged sitting. 
  • Occasionally, numbness and tingling down the leg and into the foot is most often due to a disc compressing on the nerves exiting close to the spine. 
Most Common Occupational Related Causes
  • Conservative treatment is successful in most cases of low back pain 
  • Sitting unsupported and leaning forward in chair for prolonged periods can compress discs in the low back 
  • Sitting with the legs unsupported or knees higher than hip can slouch the pelvis and strain your back. 
  • Insufficient lumbar support from chair or poorly adjusted chair 
  • Monitor is too close forcing you to lean forward in order to view the screen. 
Conservative measures of treatment consist of;
  • Conservative treatment is successful in most cases of low back pain 
  • Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, analgesics and muscle relaxant drugs can help to decrease inflammation and relieve muscle spasm 
  • Short –term rest and activity modification to offload injured structures in the spine. 
  • Seek Physiotherapist’s help for manual therapy and exercises to help treat the condition. 
  • Workplace assessment and review recommendations. 
Ergonomic Suggestions;
  • Avoid prolonged sitting and get up regularly to stretch your spine every 30-40 minutes 
  • Find an ergonomic chair with proper lumbar support 
  • Make sure monitor distance and height are adequate for task and workstation dimensions. Use a monitor arm or monitor stand to help promote correct set-up. 
  • A footrest may be needed to help support lower back by having the feet supported.