Top Tips to Take Care of Your Back

Do you or someone you know suffer with back pain? With more than 80% of people experiencing back pain in their lifetime, it isn’t a surprise if you do. Back pain can be very debilitating and can leave you unable to complete some of those every day tasks. 

Back pain can be brought on for no apparent reason, and for most will improve within a few weeks, but how can you stop this from happening? Well the official answer is it’s not always possible to identify the cause, so we’ve put together some preventative measures you can try at home to help alleviate those aches and pains.

1) Posture

We’re sure from a very early age you were told by your parents ‘don’t slouch!’, well actually they were right. A good posture when you are standing, as well as sitting, will help you look after your back.

It’s important that when you are walking that you stand upright with your head facing forward, and your weight balanced evenly. It may sound simple, but its effective.

For some people, the bulk of the day will be in front of a computer screen. It’s important that if this is you that your chair and desk is set up properly. Here are 5 important ‘do’s’ to ensure you are comfortable at your desk:

Ensure your feet are flat on the floor

Ensure your forearms and hands are in a straight line with your desk

Relax your shoulders

Make sure your chair has lower back support

Have the top of your computer screen at eye level

2) Driving

For many this is a daily occurrence, with many people spending hours in their cars commuting to and from work. It’s really important that you are sitting in your car in a comfortable position, and the setup of your driving position is just right for your back. Make sure your wing mirrors are at the correct angle, to stop you from having to twist too much (although, always check your surroundings, that’s very important too!). Make sure your pedals are at the right distance from you, and your steering wheel is at the right height. Take some time to position your seat correctly and remember ‘don’t slouch!’.

3) Exercise

I’m sure this will come as no surprise to many of you but exercising will help with those aches and pains. It’s important that you are ensuring you keep active and get those muscles in your back working, as well as keeping them mobile and strong. You don’t have to be going down the gym every day, just a nice brisk work will help keep your back mobile. When exercising make sure you’re not putting too much pressure on your back, otherwise this will have an adverse effect and could result in pulling the muscles in your back. Make sure you stretch before and after exercise, otherwise your muscles may become tight.

4) Lifting

How many times have you picked something up and thought ‘oh wait, that’s not good, my back feels funny!’? Well believe it or not, it's quite common for people to pull their backs whilst doing their weekly shop. When doing any heavy lifting (or heavy shopping sessions!) make sure you are bending from the knees, keeping a straight back, and distributing the load evenly. So next time you are at the shops, and have a bag of potatoes, 6 pints of milk, a huge bag of rice and numerous cans, pack them evenly and hold the bags in both hands, or if you have a willing helper, make them carry some bags too!

It’s important that you look after yourself, and make sure that you are keeping your back healthy.

To find our more about back care, you can visit BackCare.org.uk, or the NHS Website

If you need some inspiration for keeping active and exercising, why not try gardening? You can find out all about the Benefits of Gardening and Outdoor Living in our blog. 

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