Back pain is an enigma. There is often not an easy answer to fix back pain. That being said, here are 5 tips that can help to decrease either back pain symptoms or the likelihood of getting back pain:
Get up and out of the chair. Studies have shown that sitting for more than half a workday increases significantly the risk of back pain and sciatica. (Eur Spine J. 2007 February; 16(2): 283–298).
Avoid bending forward at the waist in the morning: Research has shown that just by avoiding bending activites early in the morning decreased back pain symptoms significantly (McGill. Low Back Disorders)
Take care of your heart health: A body of interesting research has shown a strong correlation between the degree of arterial disease or stenosis and back pain or sciatica symptoms. This likely relates to the circulation and nutrition provided to disks. (Acta Radiol. 2009 Jan;50(1):48-54.)
Try some Yoga: The practice of Yoga has been shown in several studies to be helpful with chronic low back pain. This idea sounds intimidating to some folks. But just to incorporate a couple of easy exercises like the Cobra pose or Chair pose can be extremely helpful for back pain.
Avoid positions that increase back pain symptoms: This sounds overly simplistic but can be a helpful approach to back pain. If sitting increases your pain, try using a standing table or if this is not a possibility use a lumbar support pillow to decrease lumbar flexion. If standing is bothersome, try focusing on decreasing the degree of pelvic tilt that can feed into this issue (see separate post on how to address back pain that is worse with standing).