LISTEN TO YOUR BACK
Pain is a warning sign. Your body is telling you that you have already
or are about to cause damage. If what you are doing hurts then STOP.
Do not try to push through the pain.
Regular exercise is important to help maintain mobility and strength.
It should be done without pain and it should be done regularly. Brisk
walking, swimming and cycling are all excellent exercises, but you
should do what is suitable for you and what you enjoy.
You should warm up your body before any form of physical activity,
whether it is sports, gardening or DIY'ing. This prepares the body
for action and helps to prevent injuries.
Cooling down and stretching after exercise or physical activity
is just as important as a warm up. Never "bounce" your stretches
and do it gently without pain.
You don't have to lift something heavy in order to hurt your back.
Picking up something light incorrectly is far more likely to hurt
your back than picking up heavy objects correctly. Lifting things
away from your body is also likely to cause damage. When you pick
up anything, no matter how heavy, get it as close to your body as
you can and keep your back as straight as you can and don't twist
MOVE NOW AND THEN
Whether you are at home, at work or in the car, prolonged sitting
causes load on the discs and weakness of the muscles. Get up and move
every now and then, even if it is only for a minute. The body is designed
for movement not for slouching in front of the TV or driving for hours
GET THE RIGHT FURNITURE
So called "comfortable chairs" do not do your back any good.
They are usually too low, too soft and the seat is too long with a
rounded back. They force you to slouch and sit awkwardly which puts
stress on your back. Choose a chair that is supportive, allows you
to sit up correctly with your feet flat on the floor. The right bed
is also important. Beds can be too hard. The base of the bed should
be firm and the mattress should be soft enough to mould to the contours
of your body but be firm enough to give you support in the right places.
Futons are not good for most backs and the word "Orthopaedic"
when applied to beds means absolutely nothing.
Sleep in a comfortable position. On your side in the "foetal"
position is usually the least stressful on your back. Sleeping on
your front puts most stress on your back and neck and can lead to
trouble. Using a pillow of the right height which supports the neck
is also important.
USE MEDICATION WISELY
All drugs have side effects so they should be used wisely. The use
of pain killers (paracetamol, cocodomol etc.) and non steroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs (nurofen, brufen, diclofenac etc.) only helps to mask the symptoms
and not to sort out the problem.
- CONSULT YOUR CHIROPRACTOR
If you have a long term problem, whether it is just "niggly"
or disabling, or if you have a recurring problem, then chiropractic
treatment can probably help. Chiropractors can usually give you marked
relief from pain and discomfort and improved quality of life as well
as decreasing the likelihood of a recurrence.