Take a look at these simple tips to help prevent and self manage back pain, and keep you jumping for joy!
Prevention is often better than cure, so always take on a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to your back pain with the following advice
- It’s good to exercise your back regularly. With many of us leading ever-increasing sedentary lifestyles due to prolonged sitting at work and whilst driving, doing some simple cardiovascular exercise three times a week helps keep you active as well as proving an excellent way to strengthen your back muscles. This assists in preventing your back from tightening up and reduce those ‘my back has just gone’ moments. Any exercise is great, so find something you enjoy, with power walking, swimming, cross trainers and exercise bikes being highly recommended!
- Keep active and moving even when you have back pain, but don’t overdo things and make your back even more painful during or after the activity – if you do then reduce the activity a little and build from there. Gentle walking and stretching will prevent stiffness, and try to avoid long periods of bed rest as it is counter productive.
- Always lift and carry loads correctly. Lift and carry loads close to your body, bend your knees and your hips not your back and never twist and bend at the same time.
- Try to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated as this will help prevent back pain.
- Give up smoking as it increases your chances of developing back pain.
- Use painkillers when back pain occurs to help you to carry on being active. If the pain persists seek help from your Physiotherapist or GP.
- Look at your work environment. If you work in an office look at your workstation and find ways to adapt it to help you manage your back pain. Remember to stand up and move every 20-30 minutes.
- If your work is manual and/or involves heavy lifting, always work according to health and safety procedures such as manual handling or loading procedures.
- Always carry loads in a rucksack and avoid using single strap bags.
- Maintain good posture. Always avoid slumping in your chair, hunching over your desk and learn to walk tall.
- Always use a chair with a back rest and sit with your feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest. Don’t forget to change your sitting position every 20-30 minutes.
- If you do suffer from back pain which is caused or made worse by being at work, talk to your employer. They may be able to help you adapt your work environment and activities in order to help you better manage your back pain.
If you are experiencing back pain or wish to discuss how to help avoid problems in the future, please contact Central Physio here
These tips are intended for information only and should not be considered as personalised medical advice.