Sometimes life’s little aches and pains go unnoticed. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that almost 10 percent of working Americans experience chronic back pain, and more than 50 percent get less than six hours of sleep a night. But perhaps not all back pain is avoidable, and for people who have chronic aches, a study published earlier this year found that one of the most effective ways to relieve some back pain is through lying down, which decreases your back pressure, opens your pelvis and reduces your muscle stiffness.
The work was done by Steven Manalo of the Lerner Research Institute, who recruited 200 people with back pain. People were given an hour of instructions about how to lie down: on their backs, their backs supported by a pair of pillows, and their knees bent. They were asked to record how they felt 24 hours later, and then after another hour of assessment. Nine months later, participants had dropped their pain levels by 35 percent.
So the next time you sit at your desk all day and spill coffee on your chair, try these directions instead.