How To Tell If Your Back Pain Is A Sign Of Aging Or Poor Desk Habits

When you’ve had enough of backaches affecting your workflow, it’s time to take a closer look into what’s causing them.

If you’ve been hustling your way from 9 to 5 on your desk —eyes glued on the computer for your daily task— the throbbing pain from your lower back can almost seem like a nagging co-worker doing their best to slow you down.

But before you conclude that it's just an indicator of your age, it might be better to turn your attention to another possible cause.

Have you been taking care of your posture?

When you're loaded with tasks, the days may seem to blur and end in the blink of an eye. And minding the way you sit in front of your computer can easily disappear from your list of priorities. But if it's a constant discomfort that you can't seem to shake off, it's high time that you start changing things up for your spine.

So how can you tell if your back pain is due to poor sitting conditions or the early signs of an aging spine? Here are some indicators you'd want to sift through.

It's probably caused by poor desk habits if…

1. You work without proper back support.

Long office hours warrant the need for a good chair that supports your back. With nothing to rest your back on, your muscles can feel strained trying to hold up support for your spine. So if you've been working the hours away in your makeshift home office like your bed or living room couch, you might want to reconsider your current setup.

You can find more pleasant solutions for your back by going for ergonomic office chairs that will do wonders for your lumbar support. Or you can go for a more budget-friendly route and place a pillow or rolled-up towel in between the curve of your lower back.

2. You crane your neck forward while sitting down.

Do you catch yourself in this position? When you get in the zone, it's easy to shift from an upright position and slowly melt into a posture with you hunched over your work. You'll even lean your head closer to the screen to tune out distractions.

Although this may help you reign in your focus, it can strain your neck along with your back in prolonged periods. So to prevent long-term injury, make sure to check your posture every few hours and engage your back with your shoulders relaxed.

3. You work non-stop on your desk.

Being an avid workaholic may give you the advantage of finishing tasks faster. But without sustainable habits on how to properly rest, you may be putting yourself at risk down the line. Sitting on your back all day puts more pressure on the back and spine. And if you're already experiencing back pains, you won't find relief by reducing your time for exercise even more.

Pause for quick breaks so your muscles can stretch and recover.

It's probably a sign of aging when…

1. You also feel joint pains in your knees.

Back pain due to old age usually comes with a flurry of other symptoms like weaker bones and aching joints. And when you start to experience these aches altogether, they're most likely signs that the cartilage between your bones is wearing down. Cartilage works as the cushion in your joints, and without them, you can feel stiffness and painful sensations on your knees and lower back.

Most individuals start to experience these symptoms in their 40s, although some feel these as early as 30. But there's no need to worry, there are still several ways to seek comfort. Taking collagen supplements, for example, can help ease the pain and repair cartilage.

2. Your bones feel weaker.

When you reach your 30s, your bones are at their strongest. At this age, your body's way of producing bone mass is at its peak performance and replacing bone can be done just as easily. However, as you get older past this point, the building process slows down and you lose more bone than your body can replace. When this happens, bones tend to become brittle and prone to fracture. Experiencing back pains during this time, therefore, shouldn't be treated lightly.

Your backaches may be symptoms of bone loss that can lead to a spinal compression fracture which can cause severe pain and deformity. Our word of advice? Don't wait for the pain to get worse. Once you feel these changes in your body, call your doctor immediately for a consultation to prevent further injury.

3. You're prone to fatigue.

If you're feeling more tired these days, your body might just be calling for a wake-up call.

Surprisingly, an extreme lack of physical activity can also cause a feeling of fatigue.

Uncomfortable aches in the joints also worsen with sedentary behaviors like reclining in bed all day or sitting on your desk the whole afternoon. Older people who have become inclined to such lifestyles, especially, are encouraged to exercise as their body can slowly feel the effects of deconditioning like muscle weakness.

Ways to relieve your back pain

If you want to say hello to strain-free workdays again, you'll need to build a system of better habits to guide you through. However, when your back pains appear to be chronic or arrive with no warning, it's best to phone your doctor first before taking matters into your own hands.

Here are some reminders and practices you can adopt to take care of your back.

1. Get moving with aerobic exercises.

Brisk walking, cycling, and light gardening are some activities you can do to get your body moving. But if you want to reap major health benefits, aim to do at least 2 hours of moderate-intensity activity daily. Breaking the habit of being chained to your desk all day is your first step towards introducing your mind and body to a more refreshing environment. Schedule pleasant exercise sessions within the day to keep your body alert and strain-free.

2. Try the Pomodoro Technique.

If you've ever been in need of productivity tips, you might be well-acquainted with the Pomodoro. It's a popular time-management technique from the mind of Francesco Cirillo. In a nutshell, it consists of breaking your workday into 20 to 30-minute chunks and taking 5-minute breaks in between. This practice is mostly used for its productive benefits to minimize distractions. But in a way, it's also an appealing method to stave off from mental and physical fatigue. Try it out and stretch your muscles right on schedule.

3. Maintain healthy weight for your body.

Carrying extra weight, especially down in your midsection, can invite more strain on your back muscles. And pair this with the lack of proper lumbar support, your body may be exerting more effort than necessary. So to ease the load off your back, try to keep your weight healthy and commit to exercise habits that will keep your spine strong and limber.

4. Apply a cold and warm compress.

Is your backache unbearable? Putting an ice pack over the painful areas may help alleviate soreness. After a few days, you can also switch to a heating pad to relax your muscles and increase blood circulation. But if it's a constant pain that refuses to go away, you may want to ask the help of a medical professional.

Building a solid foundation of better habits may take some time. But if you're seeking to find a more convenient way to find support for your bones and joints today, you can bet on Recogen's premium collagen supplement. As it's enriched with calcium, you can find a reliable partner to amp up your mobility in your daily hustle.

Start your day with a cold glass of fresh juice or breakfast smoothie, and stir in a sachet of Recogen packed with 100% pure Bioactive Collagen Peptides. It dissolves easily in your favorite drinks so you can begin your mornings swiftly with a delicious nutritional boost!

So what's the conclusion?

An aging spine and poor desk habits can both contribute to the back pain and neck strains you've been having. But because you can't stop time from ticking, the next best thing is to tweak your habits and start taking better care of your health. Carrying on with sedentary lifestyles may also escalate the physical discomfort you're having. So although active routines may be something new to you, it might just be the radical change that your body is clamoring for.

There’s so much to see and accomplish in life to be spending your days tied to your computer. That’s why if your 9 to 5 is confined to the four corners of your desk, make sure your 5 to 9 is where your legs start to move and take you to places you've never been.

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