10 Tips for Better Back Health
About 70 per cent of the general population will suffer from lower back pain at some time in their lives. Unfortunately for some, lower back pain is something that lingers and has to be managed on a day-to-day basis. But simple lifestyle changes can make a massive difference.
1. Keep moving: If you tend to sit in one position for more than 20 to 30 minutes, change your position and move. Doing little things such as rolling your shoulders, rotating your head, stretching your arms up and standing for a brief period gets the blood pumping in and out of your muscles, and flushes unwanted toxins out.
2. Stop slouching: Sitting in a slumped position puts stress on your ligaments, muscles and joints. Visualise a string attached to the crown of your head, which is pulling you straight up. Then pinch your shoulder blades back, and tuck your chin in slightly.
3. Streching: Lying on your back and rolling your legs from side to side, the cat stretch and the cobra pose all loosen up your middle back.
4. Sitting on a Ball: This is a great way of getting you to think about your sitting posture and engaging your core muscles. It will help reduce the strain on your middle and lower back and is good for office workers.
5. Use a lumbar roll: Many chairs come with lumbar support, but nothing beats a rolled-up towel in the small of your back, or you can buy a lumbar roll for back support
6. Check your ergonomics: Get your workstation checked. Look at your chair height and back support, computer screen height, keyboard and mouse position, and your distance from your desk.
7. Bend with your knees: Carelessness with bending and lifting is the most common way of injuring your back. Be particularly cautious in the morning - your back is most vulnerable at this time
8. Start exercising: Non-specific exercise is often a great way of keeping your back healthy. Daily walking is a great start.
9. Pilates: Pilates is a great way of improving your posture and getting the correct muscles to perform the correct functions.
10. Get a second opinion: There are too many old wives' tales concerning back pain. If you are unsure about anything, our qualified physiotherapists can set the record straight.