It is not much of an exaggeration to call back pain an epidemic. Official figures state that 7 in 10 people have lived with back or neck pain for more than a decade and 33% of people took time off work last year due to some form of back pain.
So where is this coming from? One of the leading theories is that we are becoming more sedentary as a species. The reduction of manual labour in this country, and the rise of office jobs, sees the majority of people sitting at desks, often for 8 hours straight. Only to then go home and sit in front of the TV for a few more hours.
As species we were designed to move. To walk, run, lift, carry, twist and jump. All of this requires engagement and use of the spine, which in turn would keep it healthy. Sitting down for extended periods of time, particularly in chairs and at desks, which are not well suited to our physiology, obviously goes markedly against this evolutionary need.
So, what can you do to help protect yourself from back pain? Martin, the lead chiropractor here at Morley Chiropractic clinic, has been practicing chiropractics for over 20 years. Drawing on this experience he put together these 4 rules:
- Keep Moving – This is especially important for those who work in an office. Try to get up and move every 30 minutes or so, even if this is to just get a glass of water or make a cup of coffee. Amongst other things, sitting for extended periods leads to tight hip flexors, which can have an effect on your lower back health.
- Sleep Right – As well as being the time where your body recovers, sleep is when your muscles relax and will allow your spine to relax and release the day’s tension. However, it can only do this if your mattress and pillow are anatomically correct to you. Aim to have a neutral spine, with no abrupt or unnatural curves.
- Exercise! – Try and go to the gym, do core exercises or simply go for a walk at least a couple of times a week. The effort you are putting in will engage your muscles, strengthening and tightening them helping to counteract the effects of sitting all day.
- Wear the Right Footwear – this might seem like odd advice, but it’s astounding how many people do not wear shoes that fit or support them properly – and if the shoes you are wearing are nott right then it has a knock-on effect on the entire body. It may be worth visiting a podiatrist and investing in some insoles.
By simply following the above 4 rules you massively reduce the chance of suffering from lower back pain in your day to day life. However, if you are still suffering with back or neck pain then don’t hesitate to get in contact. Using a variety of methods we have reduced pain and discomfort in an untold number of patients. To see if we can help you simply call us on 0113 2383693 or contact us here.