Back Pain and Modern Lifestyles

Back Pain and Modern Lifestyles

It is estimated that a sixth of the UK population suffers from back pain at any one time.

According to the National Office of Statistics, a staggering 31 million days of work were lost last year [2016] due to back, neck and muscles problems.

These huge numbers of back and neck related complaints have been linked to our modern lifestyles and lack of steps taken by many of us to prevent the problems before they become too serious.

Our modern lifestyles are putting a considerable amount of strain on both our necks and backs which is leading to an increased source of tension and pain amongst many of us. Even if we lead hectic lifestyles it is important to take time to look after our spine health and ourselves. Incorporating simple steps into our everyday lifestyle can make a real difference to maintaining a healthy posture and our general back health, before it starts to have a serious effect on people’s daily lives. People are often surprised at the great positive impact even simple changes can have on their overall health.

Sitting for long periods of time lessens blood flow to the discs that cushion your spine and thus places more pressure on it than walking or standing. It is therefore crucial that you have a good posture while sitting at your desk. Make sure you head is straight and not tilted down when you are reading or typing. Avoid slouching and if it is possible, tilt your chair back slightly to help alleviate and excess pressure on your spine and make sure your feet are placed firmly hip width apart on the floor. No matter how good your posture, if you are sitting for prolonged periods of time, taking regular breaks to stand up, stretch and walk around will have a real positive effect on your back and help increase the blood flow to your lower back and legs.

To increase your daily exercise you can also make changes to your commute and help you get in the extra steps. It is advised that we take 10,000 steps a day most of us normally only manage to get between 3,000 and 4,000. If possible park further away from your destination or get off the tube a few stops before you normally would and walk the rest of the way.

As walking is a good, low impact exercise, it can not only help to relieve back pain but also prevent it without putting too much strain on your body. Even walking for just 30 minutes a day 3 – 5 times a week can have real benefits for you back health and your overall wellbeing.

Avoid Back Pain whilst on the Road

Avoid Back Pain whilst on the Road

Many drivers don’t realise that the back pain or a stiff neck may primarily be caused by bad driving habits, although you might not always feel it while you’re on the road!

Most of us spend a good couple of hours a day in our cars, commuting to and from work or running errands. This may cause us to suffer from aches and pains known as Repetitive Driver Injury.

According to the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), 40% of people say that simply sitting down for long periods of time exacerbates neck and back pain.

Did you know… Drivers commonly suffer from pain and stiffness in their lower back and neck due to irritation of the spinal joints. Long periods of time on the road puts extra strain on the vertebrae and discs and we lose the lumbar curves in our backs.

Remember… Avoiding back problems while driving may not require anything drastic, such as, buying a new car, however, taking practical measures should help drivers feel comfortable behind the wheel.

Did you know… After a long journey muscles can become very stiff, therefore, simple exercises, such as, side bends and seat braces, are very effective. Most importantly, remain relaxed whilst driving and take breaks.

Remember… If you have any issues you should book in for a checkup. These types of problems are more easily treated if dealt with promptly.