This week is Backcare Awareness Week and the aim is to raise awareness of the problems that back pain can cause, as well as prevention and treatments.
Back Care at work
One of the messages to be put across is to stand and not sit while you work…but whatever you do it is very important to make sure that your work station area is set up correctly for you (as shown below) and simple changes can make such a big difference.
Top 10 tips for preventing and helping back pain
- Exercise your back regularly – walking, swimming (especially back stroke) and using exercise bikes are all excellent to strengthen your back muscles but anything that you enjoy and helps you keep active will be beneficial.
- Keep active and moving even when you have pain. Gentle walking and stretching will prevent stiffness. Also try to avoid long periods of bed rest as this is counter-productive.
- Always lift and carry objects 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 as this will help prevent back pain. Make the most of Stoptober and stop smoking, as it increases your chances of developing back pain.
- Use painkillers when pain occurs to allow you to carry on being active.
- Consider your work environment. If you work in an office look at your workspace and ways to adapt it to help you manage your back pain. If your work is more manual in nature try to be aware of and work according to health and safety procedures such as manual handling or loading procedures.
- Try to carry loads in a rucksack and avoid carrying single sling bags.
- Always try to maintain good posture. Avoid slumping in your chair, hunching over your desk and walking around with your shoulders hunched up.
- 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 few minutes.
- If you do suffer from back pain caused or made worse by being at work, talk to your employer or HR department. They may be able to help you come up with adaptations to your work environment, patterns and activities in order to help you better manage your back pain.
And finally, visiting your Espina chiropractor regularly is a good way of keeping back pain at bay as well as treating it.