Back Pain

I have struggled with various levels of back pain for years. Sometimes there’s none at all. Other times, it’s been so bad that I can’t even get out of bed. Granted, usually that seems to happen after I’ve done something pretty stupid, but that’s besides the point.

A few years ago, I discovered heat. Putting heat on my back seems to help reduce the number of occurances. Since that discovery, I have been know to do such crazy things as use the seat heater in my car on its highest setting during the summertime. Some would scoff, and I would definitely have the air conditioning on or windows down, but I’d push as much heat as possible to my back in an attempt to forestall whatever pain might have been coming.

I have been making a number of life changes recently, including getting much more active. But through all of that, I’ve continued to struggle with occasional back pain that I can’t quite pin down. Previously, I had generally attributed much of that pain to less than adequate sleeping arrangements. For every night I would spend in a bed that was not my own, I would spend the following day trying to prevent my back from hurting me.

Lately, heat hasn’t always been enough. I purchased a new bed last August that definitely helped, but every once in a while I’d still feel that familiar twinge of a back that was crying out in pain. Now, I’m not really a fan of general pain. To help frame things up, understand that when it comes to back pain, I would do just about anything to try and prevent any painful sensations that could be generated from my back. Much of that stems from the simple fact of not really knowing what level of pain I would receive. It could range anywhere from a simple annoyance to completely dehabilitating.

I made the decision last week to acquire a desk that I could stand at as well as sit. In the corporate world, there are options aplenty to facilitate every possible option. Usually you need to undergo an “ergonomic assessment”, where some person comes in and identifies all of the things you’ve been doing wrong, then proceeds to issue a series of “corrective actions” that you should undertake to prevent that pain. These actions include simple behavior adjustments such as sitting up straight, to environmental changes like getting a taller desk.

I underwent one of those ergonomic assessments a few years ago. Turns out my height exceeds the normal or standard range that most desks are set up for. So, I generally need to hunch down when I use a standard sized desk. No problem, but it was recommended I do a few simple things like elevate my monitors and sit up straight (flashbacks from Assumption Grotto suddenly appear in my mind).

I spend a lot of time working from my home office (which doubles as Toliver’s bedroom when he’s here). I’ve recently made some personal decisions regarding things I want to accomplish, which will require even more of a commitment to working from there. As such, I’ve committed to evaluating various options for improving my working environment, and intend to document those exploits here.