The 3rd-8th October is BackCare Awareness week.
This year the main focus is on the 7 million unpaid UK carers, but we could all use some tips on maintaining a healthy back, right?
Any of us can suffer from back pain, at any time. So have a look at these top 10 tips and see what you could be doing to help keep your back healthy:
Swimming is particularly good for a healthy back. Try the backstroke or front crawl to help strengthen your back whilst getting an aerobic workout. If swimming isn’t for you, any exercise will help, try some of these yoga positions.
2. Keep moving.
Avoid long periods of time sitting and make sure to change your position every few minutes. Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes and gently stretch yourself out. Sitting in one position for too long will make your body stiff and achy, so keep it moving.
3. Lift with the knees.
Always bend with your knees and hips, avoid bending your back. Carry objects close to your body to avoid putting too much strain on your back. Never twist and bend at the same time.
4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Eat a good diet and look after your well-being. Stay hydrated and practice good nutrition. Quit smoking. Smokers are 3 times more likely to develop back pain.
5. Use a rucksack.
Avoid using a single sling bag as it will pull on your back on one side. Instead, use a rucksack to distribute the weight evenly across your body.
6. Maintain a good posture.
Avoid slumping in your chair, always rest your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest and use a chair with a backrest. Sitting puts pressure on your spine, so standing is better; try to alternate between periods of sitting and standing.
Use painkillers to ease your back pain. If they don’t work, try a different pain medication, if you’re still struggling, see your GP.
8. Take care of mental health.
Chronic pain can affect your mental health. You may experience depression, anger or anxiety which can make your pain worse as your body won’t produce as much natural painkiller. Looking after your mental health helps you to look after your physical health.
9. Relaxation techniques.
Practice stress relieving relaxation techniques. If you are in pain, take long, slow, deep breaths- avoid the short, shallow, sharp breaths as these can make your pain worsen.
10. Get the right bed.
Having a mattress that provides the right support for your body is vital. If you suffer from back pain, the N:rem sleep system is designed to help you get a better night’s sleep. Have a look at the N:rem here.
Go to the Sleep Centre for more blogs on pain management and sleep.