According to a recent survey, 4 out of 5 of us live with, or will experience, back pain at some point in our lives. This can be anything from muscle stiffness, to aching muscles to trapped nerves.
Many people spend a lot of time during the working week sat at our desks or at home on the sofa. If you’re not sat correctly at your desk, or your spending a lot of your time lounging on the couch, you may start to experience pain in your lower back.
Your back harnesses a huge amount of muscles and nerve endings and is the central skeletal column of your body – Taking care of this is important for keeping you mobile and pain free as much as possible.
Below, we’ve put together some advice and tips you can do at home, or in the office to help keep your back happy and healthy.
1. Ease into your day.
Your body has spent the whole night sleeping in a similar position, so first thing in the morning your lower back muscles might feel tense and tight. This is because when you move during the day the tissue surrounding your joints secretes fluid, the lack of movement at night can lead to stiffness and inflammation.
Because of this, it’s best to start your day slowly, don’t make any quick movements and give your body chance to wake up to ensure your joint tissue is well lubricated.
2. Relax your muscles and why not give them a treat?
No, we don’t mean get back on the sofa and do nothing!
There are many ways you can give your lower back the love and support it deserves.
The National Institute of Health Care Excellence (NICE) advise having a massage to aid with the treatment of lower back pain. Even a 15-minute treatment may help ease pain and aid healing too.
Also, some reports say that eating foods rich in magnesium can help to reduce lower back pain. So, try to fit as many green vegetables, nuts and seeds, fish and whole grains into your diet as much as possible.
3 The best way to sleep.
During the day, pressure on the discs in your back force out water, which also draws out nutrients, leaving them vulnerable to injury.
We should all be getting a good night’s rest, as sleep is vital to help your body repair its muscles and re-lubricate the discs from the day’s activities. If you have lower back pain this may prevent you from sleeping, which is not only frustrating, but can also increase the time it takes you to heal.
Lying down (particularly on your side in the foetal position) puts the least loading on the spinal discs. This allows them to rehydrate, which also draws in important nutrients, which they need to remain healthy and strong.
Our friends over at Healthline have some great tips to get yourself comfy for a good night’s sleep.
4 Are you sitting comfortably?
The way you sit at your desk is so important to reduce the risk of back pain. Ensure your lower back is well supported by your chair, adjust the height of your chair so your forearms are flat on your keyboard. Keep your feet on the floor and at right angle to your body, and make sure you take regular breaks too.
These are all key things to help keep you and your back fit and well, but if things start to ache (or even if they don’t), there are exercises you can do to keep your back supple.
We’ve put together a quick and easy desk workout just for you to download and pin up somewhere!
5 Improve your posture.
We all know that we should stand up straight, sit properly, and not hunch over, but do we actually do it? Do you get headaches, back, pain, fatigue or suffer from lack of concentration? These can be signs of bad posture which includes a lot of pressure on the lower back.
There are simple things you can do to improve your posture:
- Push your shoulders back.
- Hold your stomach in.
- Keep your weight on the balls of your feet.
- Keep your head level.
Doing this can help realign your body, and redistribute the weight on your muscles and bones.
Here at Boost Wellbeing – Hands On Health UK we know how important understanding your body and posture is. We have an amazing “Body Mechanics – Posture, Balance and Flexibility” workshop, which has received great feedback from many clients – Why not drop us a line to see how we can help you.
Boost Wellbeing – Hands on Health UK is an expert, therapist-led organisation helping your business to be more energetic, happy and productive.
Want to know more about how we can make your office a happy and healthy place to be? Call on 0800 368 9079, or email email@example.com