Back pain is an extremely common condition. Most of us will experience it at some point during our life. The good news is that back pain can often be prevented. These simple 5 tips can easily be made part of your normal day and don’t require you to take any time out of your usual routine.
1. Move more
This is definitely the most important of the tips. Our bodies are designed to move. When we spend too much time in any one position, excessive strain is placed on our bodies and can also affect our circulation. Moving little and often throughout the day really can prevent a lot of back pain. If your job requires sitting for prolonged periods, take a break from sitting every hour even it’s just for a few minutes. e.g. go for a drink of water or even take a toilet break.
2. Avoid carrying a heavy bag on the same shoulder all the time
Always carrying a bag on the same shoulder can cause chronic fatigue and pain as well as making your posture lop-sided. It can feel strange carrying your bag on your opposite shoulder but if you persevere with switching your carrying side from day to day, it will in time begin to feel natural and your back will thank you. Avoid carrying bags which are unnecessarily heavy by removing those bits and bobs which you aren’t going to need them that day.
3. Sit up straight
I hate to admit it, but my parents were right; it is important to sit up straight. Slouching places strain on our muscles, ligaments and spinal discs. It leads to chronic tightening of some muscles and the lengthening of others, causing imbalances and back pain.
4. Lift with bent knees and a wide stance
Lifting with bent knees will minimise the bend in your spine and mean your legs, which are stronger, do more of the work. Keeping your feet apart will help prevent your hips from locking so they can move better when lifting.
5. Seek Osteopathic help sooner rather than later
From personal experience treating many patients with back pain, I have noticed that patients who seek intervention earlier rather than later will often need much less treatment! Put up with pain, and over time, muscles can become chronically shortened, scar tissue can develop and bad movement patterns ingrained. Seeking early intervention can prevent a small issue from becoming a chronic problem.
Need help with back pain? We can help! Barry McVeigh from The Moving Body is at our Covent Garden studio on Mondays and Thursdays. To book an appointment, please call 020 7240 6111 or email [email protected]
18 November 2014