Back pain is a common complaint and will affect many of us at some point throughout our lives, perhaps as a result of an incorrectly performed movement, a previous injury or simply long-standing poor posture.1 There are a number of medical conditions that can cause back pain, including a slipped disc or sciatica.
In most cases, back pain isn’t caused by anything serious and is referred to as ‘non-specific’ which will get better over time.2 However, non-specific back pain can be a recurring issue – so what can you do to help manage any pain and keep your back healthy?
Here are some easy to follow tips:
- Get advice – firstly, don’t ignore early warning signs and speak to your doctor or a qualified physiotherapist/osteopath/chiropractor if you feel any regular pain, and ensure to consult with them first before trying to manage your symptoms
- Stay active – according to the NHS, the best way to deal with back pain is to stay active and continue doing regular exercise. You should choose activities that include elements of endurance, strength and flexibility – for example walking, cycling, swimming, aqua aerobics or yoga
- Don’t be a slouch – one of the most common causes of lower back pain is slouching, so learn to sit with correct posture and sit up straight at all times.3 Follow these simple steps to improve your sitting posture
- Activate your core – back pain can sometimes be caused by weak abdominal muscles (abs).4 Your abs are the front anchor of your spine, so if they’re weak the other support structures of your spine have to work harder, i.e. your back muscles
- Stretch for success – there are a number of stretches and back related exercises you can do to help strengthen your back; here are 10 exercises to try. Carrying out these targeted exercises will increase blood flow to the lower back area, which could reduce stiffness and speed up the healing process
- Lift objects correctly – straining the back from heavy lifting, or incorrect lifting techniques, is a common cause of back complaints.5 To lift correctly, lift with your legs, keep the item close to your chest and avoid twisting the upper body. Here are some more heavy lifting tips
- Good quality sleep – your mattress can have an impact on your back health; a very soft mattress may not be the best option for you if you suffer from lower back pain. If you have a soft mattress and it isn’t in need of replacing, you could opt for a firm mattress topper as a solution6
Did you know that a health care cash plan can help to keep your back healthy, too? With Good All Round, you can claim money back towards physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic and sports massage costs (pre-existing conditions are covered after 6 months). To find out more about the Good All Round cash plan and how it can help keep you healthy from top to toe, visit sovereignhealthcare.co.uk/personal/what-we-cover