Looking after your back

Back pain is very common and in many cases, it’s difficult to prevent completely. However, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of developing disabling back pain.

Keep active
To keep your back fit and healthy, it’s important to stay active. Walking, cycling, swimming or even gardening 2 to 4 times a week for 20 minutes at a time will give you the most benefit. Classes such as Yoga, Pilates or Tai chi are also useful for keeping your back flexible.

Looking after your posture
Your spine is an ‘S’ shape and it’s important to keep this natural curve of your back when sitting. Good chairs follow this natural curve of the back but since all backs are different, they should also be adjustable to ensure you can set them up for your needs.

Lifting heavy items
Lifting heavy or awkwardly shaped items can be a risk factor for back pain, especially when you have to lift repetitively. When lifting, it’s important to bend your knees and keep the weight as close to your body as possible. If the item is very heavy, ask for help, or use tools such as lifts to make the work easier.

Healthy eating and drinking
A healthy diet and drinking sufficient water is important for everyone’s general health. It’s also been suggested that drinking sufficient water is important as it keeps the intervertebral discs hydrated.

For further information on back care, visit www.backcare.org.uk