Up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives.
Back pain can affect people of all ages, from adolescents to the elderly.
Back pain is the third most common reason for visits to the doctor’s.
Do you fall under these statistics?
What should we do to help our lower back pain?
Regular exercise is very important in keeping your back, and the rest of your body, fit and healthy. Use comfortable, cushioned shoes when walking.
When you experience back pain it is very important to stay active. Prolonged bed rest is often counter-productive in managing your back pain.
Humans were not built to sit still all day and maintain static postures. Instead, we were designed to move regularly, in a variety of ways.
To keep our body functioning at its best, we need to ensure we are taking our joints and soft tissue through their full range of movements regularly.
Sitting can be uncomfortable but by putting a rolled up towel in your lower back, you can make yourself a lot more comfortable. There are also special lumbar cushions you can buy.
**Plan your day carefully so you can alternate sitting with standing/walking.
Moving and handling
Handling heavy goods can put a big strain on our backs.
Make sure we are lifting by bending from your knees and not from your back. Take regular breaks when doing repetitive work.
Try to maintain a healthy weight to avoid excessive load on your spine, hips and knees.
If able consider using over the counter pain killers when the pain becomes too severe.
If you do take them, take them regularly according to the instructions; don’t wait until the pain is bad to take them.
Back pain often comes and goes and you may experience flare ups and periods of relatively little pain. Don’t try to do everything you have to do in one go when you are feeling well, but spread your workload over a longer period.
Also try to spread your cleaning duties over the whole week and don’t do it all in one go, or ask someone for help, (its allowed!)
Try applying a hot pack to the painful area. Hot packs are available in most pharmacies and supermarkets and online.
Try applying a cold pack to the painful area. Special cold packs are available to buy but a bag of frozen peas works as well. Remember to wrap the cold pack in a towel or cloth before applying it to the area.
**alternate between the two packs to see which one gives you the most relief but remember to leave 30 mins space in-between switching between the 2.
Stretching regularly can reduce your pain. Try to incorporate stretches in your daily routine, for example when you get out of bed.
Try spreading your shopping into smaller bags instead of one big and don’t carry them into the house all at once make a few journeys and balance the load out over both hands.
Find a position that gives you minimal discomfort and use pillows to provide extra support. For example you can place a pillow under your knees when sleeping on your back or a pillow between your knees when sleeping on your side. If you really can’t sleep its advised we get up for a short while have a warm milky drink and return to bed.
When carrying a load, consider using a back pack worn on both shoulders. This avoids any discomfort from carrying loads a- symmetrically.
Take regular breaks when having to drive long distances, make sure your steering wheel is adjusted to the correct position so the shoulders are not hunched up to our ears.
Use an extra lumbar support if needed.
The use of long-handed tools can prevent bending and twisting.
Learn relaxation techniques or find activities that you find enjoyable and relaxing.
You will have a better chance of controlling back pain by incorporating the above tips into your daily routine.
Emma Louise McGlen