Common Causes of Back Pain
There are many daily activities which can cause or aggravate back pain. Before you rush off to the doctor for pain medication or treatment try these simple tips to make your daily life more comfortable. I realise my accountant will disagree but I firmly believe that there’s a lot that we can do without treatment to reduce pain.
TIP If back pain lasts longer than 24 hours always seek professional help.
Do you stand “model style” with all your weight on one leg? Or are you a “duck” with toes apart? Both poses can cause muscle tension in the lower back. You need to use your core muscles and pelvic floor to stand upright.
TIP Concentrate! If you’re cleaning your teeth or standing in a queue try and stand with your weight equal and your feet parallel.
Desktop PCs weren’t great for our backs, but laptops, tablets and smartphones all make us even more hunched over looking at smaller screens and working away from a “proper” desk and supportive chair. If you do have the luxury of a desk, keyboard and screen make sure to raise the screen to eye height. And do invest the time and money to set your chair up properly. It’s cheaper than having a physio on retainer.
TIP sit with your elbows and lower back supported (backless bar stools are not your friend!) and the screen lifted to eye height. Books or ring binders are a great way to create this angle for laptops on a desk.
In a recent study 100% of breast reduction candidates were wearing the wrong size bra. When correctly fitted their back pain diminished and they no longer requested surgery! Your bra should use your shoulders to support and balance the weight of the breast. If it isn’t fitted correctly, with the straps too short or the back riding up, then it can’t provide you with sufficient support.
TIP Spend the time to get the fit right! Go to a high end lingerie shop and learn what a good fitting bra feels like. Then you can use that to try on and test other bras. Beware – not all 34C’s are the same! Different brands and styles can change your size.
When you sit you increase the load going through the discs in your spine by 300%!
TIP set an alarm and take a short walk or stretch every 20 minutes.
Yes I know I’m obsessed! But the wrong heel can cause problems – too high and your pelvis tips forward, tightening your lower back muscles. Too flat and there is little shock absorption causing strain in the knees, hips and lower back.
TIP wear a low heel (about 1 inch or a thick trainer heel) or vary your heel height daily.
ICE – If you do hurt your back use an ICE pack not heat to reduce inflammation and numb the area. Make sure not to apply ice directly to the skin, wrap it in a damp tea towel first – you don’t need an ice burn making it worse!
MOVE – gentle daily exercise helps.
PILATES – this strengthens the core muscles and takes the strain off your lower back. It usually teaches you how to stand and sit better so you get less pain.