Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Returning to Work With Low Back Pain

Returning to Work With Low Back Pain

Overview

Getting back to work with back pain depends on what your day is usually like. But there are some basics that apply to everyone.

Moving keeps your back muscles strong, which can help your back. And avoiding activity for more than a day or two can make back pain worse.

  • Sit with good posture.
    • Adjust your chair so your feet are flat on the floor. If you can't do this, use a footrest so your feet can be flat.
    • Keep the curve in your lower back. If your chair doesn't help, place a small cushion or rolled towel across the curve of your back.
    • Keep reading materials at eye level. Avoid leaning over your desk.
    • Avoid bending, leaning, or twisting at the waist. Keep your workstation and tools within easy reach.
  • Take breaks.
    • Take 10- to 15-second breaks. For example, look away from your computer monitor, stand up, or stretch your arms. Short breaks reduce eyestrain and muscle tension.
    • Move around. When you sit, change your position often. Switch between standing and sitting, if possible.
    • If you can, go for a walk. This can be as simple as walking up and down the hall. If possible, leave the building and walk a few blocks.
    • Stretch your body. Get up out of your chair, and stretch your arms, shoulders, back, and legs. When you sit, shrug and relax your shoulders. Do this at least every hour. It doesn't hurt to do it more often.
  • Avoid heavy lifting and pulling.

    Ask someone for help if you need to. Instead of pulling, push if you can.

  • When you stand, put one foot on a low stool.

    Change feet throughout the day.

  • When you drive, place a small, rolled-up towel or small cushion across the curve of your back.

    Take breaks. Pull over and walk around if your back starts to ache.

  • Work smart.

    Be aware of your surroundings. Use common sense. Don't lift more than you need to, and don't carry loads farther than you have to. Take short breaks when your back starts to hurt. Watch for hazards to avoid falling down. These small things can make a big difference.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Low Back Pain

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details