Lower back pain is a common condition that affects many people. In 2018 alone, 28% of men and 32% of women aged experienced lower back pain in a three-month period. Your lower back pain symptoms may involve tingling, numbness, shooting pain or a burning sensation.
Depending on its severity, your lower back pain can make it difficult to perform daily tasks, including work. Finding a job that is comfortable and doesn't aggravate your condition can be a challenge. However, there are certain jobs that may be more suitable for individuals with lower back pain. By knowing which jobs are most suitable for people living with lower back pain, you can feel empowered to make career choices that support your overall well-being.
Whether you are currently experiencing lower back pain or want to prevent it in the future, the right job can help you feel comfortable and productive. Physical therapy can also help you manage your pain and treat its cause.
3 best jobs if you have lower back pain
If you have chronic lower back pain, it may be linked to any of the following injuries and conditions:
- Herniated or ruptured discs.
- Pinched nerves.
- Overuse injuries such as tendinitis and muscle strains.
- Traumatic injuries.
Jobs that involve sitting and standing for long periods of time or heavy lifting can exacerbate lower back pain. As a result, physically demanding jobs like yardwork, warehouse work and nursing may worsen lower back pain symptoms. Meanwhile, jobs that may be better protect and support the lower back can include:
- Office jobs — Jobs that allow for adjustable seating and the ability to move around can be ideal for people with lower back pain. Working in an office can give you the ability to sit comfortably while giving you the flexibility to stand and walk around the office space as often as necessary. Many office managers even encourage their employees to take frequent breaks throughout the workday. Your office job can involve activities like customer service, computer programming, graphic design and copywriting.
- Remote jobs — Jobs are becoming increasingly remote, with some previously in-person organizations switching to hybrid models. In fact, job listings for remote work have increased fourfold since 2020. Remote work allows for flexibility in the work environment, letting you choose where, and often when, you work. With remote work, you can pursue treatment for your lower back pain during the day and resume your work when you return. This flexibility allows you to focus on treating your lower back pain while not compromising your productivity.
- Jobs that involve light physical activity — Doing light exercise throughout the day can help relieve tension from your lower spine and ease pressure on your lower back. As a result, jobs that involve light filing and organization can help you stay active while not being too physically demanding. Jobs like a library assistant and retail sales associate may involve standing and walking but not heavy lifting, giving you plenty of opportunities to exercise and stretch your lower back safely. These jobs can also allow you to sit if your lower back pain flares during working hours.
How can you reduce your back pain while at work?
There are several ways to reduce lower back pain while at work, including:
- Sitting in an ergonomic chair with lower back support — Your desk chair should adequately support your lower back, especially if you’ll be sitting for a couple of hours at a time. If you feel like your chair’s back support isn’t enough, you can purchase an additional back support or cushion and attach it to your chair. To prevent your lower back pain from flaring up, it’s important to make sure that your work chair is adjusted to the right height. You can do this by sitting with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Adjusting your workstation — Your workstation needs to be adjusted according to your specific height and posture. You should make sure that your computer monitor is at eye level and your keyboard and mouse are within easy reach. You can even use a standing desk or a sit-stand converter to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. Doing so can encourage your spine to remain in a neutral position while you work and prevent you from slouching or rounding your back for long periods of time.
- Taking frequent breaks to stand and walk around — Stretching or doing exercises to loosen up tight muscles during your breaks can encourage blood flow to your inflamed back and boost your healing. Doing so can also help you avoid further injuring your lower back via long hours of inactivity and poor posture.
- Going to physical therapy between working hours — If your lower back pain persists for days or weeks, you may benefit from going to physical therapy. Physical therapists can help identify the cause of your lower back pain and develop a treatment plan to address it. They can also teach you exercises and stretches that can help alleviate pain and improve your strength, flexibility, and overall function. In addition, to help you prevent flare-ups, your physical therapist can teach you proper posture, body mechanics, and techniques for working at a desk, standing, or doing light lifting.
Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT to decrease your lower back pain
Have you noticed that your lower back pain worsens while at work? Your current job environment may not be the best for your back health. Physical therapists can help you prioritize your lower back by helping you adjust your working environment. At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need.
Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you so that you can speak to a physical therapist about the best jobs for lower back pain.
Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform.
Come find help for your injury or chronic condition today!