10 Steps For Good Back Care
Back pain is common in the general population and most back pain is not due to any serious disease. The following points will help you to keep a healthly back and befit for work and for life.
- Keep fit and active. General exercise such as walking, swimming and cycling is good for you and good for your back.
- Do not sit in very low chairs and couches for prolonged periods of time.
- When sleeping have a firm mattress and one pillow which gives full support to your neck.
- When driving, adjust the seat so that you have good support in your lower back and take short breaks from driving when on a long journey.
- When working at a VDU workstation, adjust your chair to the correct height and use the backrest on the chair to support your back when seated. Get up regularly and stretch and move.
- When lifting or handling loads make sure that you are capable of handling the load safely. Keep the normal curves of the back when lifting and keep the load close to you.
- Avoid working with the back in a stooped or twisted position for long periods e.g. when doing housework, gardening or when doing DIY at home etc.
- Consider your work-life balance as some back pain is due to increased muscle tension as a result of a busy and stressful work and home life.
- Do not get too anxious if you get pain in your back. Keep on the move as much as possible and avoid sitting for long periods. The pain should settle down within a few days.
Consult your doctor or chartered physiotherapist if any of the symptoms are unusual or do not settle quickly, (e.g. pain in legs or numbness). They can give you good advice on how to manage your back pain and on any investigation or treatment that may be necessary.