Smorgasbord Health Column – Common Conditions A-Z – Working from Home – Backache by Sally Cronin | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Today I’m sharing a worthy reblog from Sally Cronin with her article on backpain, in her Smorgasbord Health series, Sally hits on a topic that many of us writers can identify with – the sitting syndrome, and what we can do to alleviate some of the aches and pains.


Smorgasbord Health Column – Common Conditions A-Z – Working from Home – Backache by Sally Cronin



In this series I take a look at some of the more common health conditions we might experience.

Backache and working from home.

To give you an idea of how common backache is around the world; it is estimated that nearly 10% of the global population will experience either acute (one off or occasional event with recovery) or chronic backache (constant and disabling).  There are a number of proven factors such as weight, height, age and of course occupational posture but generally the causes of lower back pain in particular are very hard to diagnose.

Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability but it also results in one of the biggest financial burdens on health services and industry around the world. An estimated 25% of all sick leave is the result of back problems with billions of pounds and dollars in medical costs.

In a paper published by the World Health Organisation it mentions the number of work days lost in a year due to back problems in the UK alone as over 100 million.  

“Low back pain is the single biggest cause of years lived with disability worldwide, and a major challenge to international health systems. In 2018, the Lancet Low Back Pain Series Working Group identified a global problem of mismanagement of low back pain.” WHO


Work from Home and lack of Health and Safety Regulations.

Most businesses where staff are working at desks and on computers will have a some guidance on best work practices to prevent issues such as back pain or repetitive strain injury. But what about when hundreds of thousands of office workers are at home and using computers. Will their chairs be the right height, or their screens be at the right level?

Some of the pictures I have seen of people working from homes seem to be of laptops on knees, working on the sofa or sat on the floor with a laptop on a coffee table, or even when in bed. None of which will be good for posture and likely to result in back or neck pain.

Most people when experiencing lower back pain will reach for over the counter pain-killers.  Whilst these may be effective in the short-term, they only mask the symptoms and do not address the cause of the back pain. If it is chronic, it becomes very easy to become dependent on the tablets, and very likely that the body will develop a tolerance. The nervous system, particularly the brain and spinal cord become less able to interpret the actual levels of pain you are experiencing requiring increasingly more medication over time.

This results in most people taking more pills that is good for the body. Apart from the risk of addiction, it can seriously damage your endocrine system (hormones) and this can impact many functions within in the body reliant on hormones for health. One condition in particular, Osteoporosis is already a risk factor for women following menopause, but with a consistent use of painkillers the impact on bone health can be very severe.

Unfortunately, since the cause of back pain can be difficult to diagnose, it is likely that your doctor is simply going to move your medications to the next level to opiods such as Tramadol which are highly addictive if used long-term.  I have experience of this with my mother who had chronic hip pain and in her late 80s and early 90s was prescribed Tramadol. Very difficult for the person suffering the pain and those who care for them.

Where to start.

Most back pain is the result of posture issues due to your own physical condition or your work environment. . . continue reading at Sally’s Smorgasbord


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Source: Smorgasbord Health Column – Common Conditions A-Z – Working from Home – Backache by Sally Cronin | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine



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25 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health Column – Common Conditions A-Z – Working from Home – Backache by Sally Cronin | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

    1. They are very good Stevie.. I have trouble getting up off the floor because of the lack of ligaments in my right knee but they do one you can put on your chair which is helpful. x


  1. Hi Debby – I’m sure Sally’s post will make essential reading for many of us … I’m not good with sitting too much – and am making the extra effort to do simple stretching exercises at home – more often … take care and all the best – today is wonderfully mild … so a good long walk is due. Stay safe – Hilary


    1. Hi Hilary. Thanks and I’m glad you’re staying mobile. I think most of us are wary of the get up factor and I too try as best I can. 🙂 Happy weekend! ❤


    2. Thanks Hilary and as humans we are not designed to sit too much, but these days with modern technology, online shopping and lockdown we are likely to do more of it.. great that we can at least get out for a walk and stretching exercises are excellent.. stay safe..x


  2. Good morning, Sally and Debby. I am all too familiar with the sitting syndrome effects.

    For shoulder pain, I use a “rubbery” harness that attaches to my arms and compresses (in a good way) my shoulders and neck. Brand name: PostureMedic

    Also, I do Pilates at least twice a week and, in between, squat on the floor to do “pigeon” pose. Most important: Pull yourself out of the seat and take a walk, bake a cake, something else you like doing – even napping!


    1. Thanks Marian. All great tips. Lol, it would be interesting to do a health poll on writers, who uses what for relief, lol. Me, Obusforme back rests, seat cushions, neck wraps, cream, lotions and potions galore! 🙂 x


  3. Thanks for sharing, Debby. My husband suffers from back pain, and we’ve often taken Sally’s advice to heart with good results. 😀 Getting up and moving has been vital – especially now during the pandemic when we’re stuck at home and spending a lot of time on the couch!


  4. I have to confess, I’m not into health. I eat a lot of chips, fried food, and cookies. Not enough veges and fruit. I don’t care too much if I die young (well, that didn’t happen!).


  5. Hi Deb, we know back pain too well and the only solution for me has been the posture, a good chair or couch and that’s why I prefer a laptop, which can be used anywhere. Now I have a perfect recliner from Lazboy that gives ample support to my back and yes, get your butt up frequently. 🙂 Prevention is the best cure!


  6. Thanks for sharing one of Sally’s informative posts, Debby. I try to keep active and, thankfully, now I get to go out a bit more, but I suffer from shoulder and back pain from time to time, so this is a great resource.


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