Top 10 tips for taking care of your back
Back pain can really make your life miserable and preoccupy every thought in a busy life.
Medication is fantastic for pain relief but this is time limited and most of us don’t really want to take them for extensive periods of time, and it’s not dealing with the root problem.
Although we treat people with back pain on a daily basis, we think prevention is better than cure. These simple guidelines can help you avoid back pain and keep your back (and neck) in good shape.
- Exercise regularly – walking, swimming and using exercise bikes are all excellent ways to strengthen your back muscles.
- Always bend your knees and hips, not your back. Remember to lift heavy objects using correct lifting techniques.
- Carry larger loads in a comfortable rucksack using both shoulder straps, and avoid sling bags.
- Maintain a good posture – avoid slumping in your chair, hunching over a desk, or walking with your shoulders hunched.
- Try to take a short break from sitting every 30 minutes.
- Quit smoking – smoking can reduce the blood supply to discs between the vertebrae, and this may lead to these discs degenerating.
- Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle – lose any excess weight, sleep well and keep yourself hydrated.
- Check that your bed provides the correct support and comfort for your weight and build, not just firmness.
- Learn relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and mindfulness to help manage stress. Stress is a major cause of back pain.
- Pay attention to warning signs – don’t ignore back problems or pain. Listen to what your body is telling you.
Of course, while we are out there enjoying life and having fun there are accidents and injuries ruining all our good intentions!
The worst thing you can do is take to your bed. If you can, you should keep moving but take it easy – listen to what your body is telling you as we mentioned above. Seek advice from your GP or get in touch with your #NIHPDurham practitioner – they’re here to help.