Our back is very important, a lot of our equipment actually is to support our back after injury, illness or natural wear and tear of age. Here's some tips to help you protect your back from pain in the future!
Exercise...yeah sorry about this one for any of you who are anti-exercise! But your core muscles support your lower back especially so it's really important to strengthen them. I'm talking walking or swimming....not running up mountains or anything, these simple things will get blood flow to your spine and help all your joints not just your back. Eating the right foods will help to keep your bones and joints healthy too.
Correct posture - My granddad used to drill this into my mum who in turn drilled it into me but I'm always slouching or sitting in a lazy position...Bum in, chest out, hips forward...sit upright and straight! Wear good shoes, don't carry too many heavy things and if you have to bend to pick up things then do it properly and safely!
Stretch your hamstrings - tight hamstrings can cause lower back pain so make sure you stretch them and keep them flexible. A good mattress and pillow when sleeping - support your tired muscles and spine after a long day and let them stretch and rest whilst you sleep. Did you know you wake up taller than when you go to sleep because your spine compresses throughout the day!
If you are suffering from any of the following with a back ache then you should contact either a GP or the hospital out of hours
- fever of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or above
- unexplained weight loss
- swelling in the back
- constant back pain that doesn't ease after lying down
- pain in your chest or high up in your back
- pain down your legs and below the knees
- loss of bladder or bowel control
- inability to pass urine
- numbness around your genitals, buttocks or back passage
- pain that is worse at night
Back pain is quite normally, especially from our 30's onwards. But even if it is common, it's still always important to keep our bodies safe and as strong as possible. If you are at all concerned or have suffered for more than a week or two then you should contact your GP and have a talk about your lifestyle and any health tips that could help you.