Almost half of all UK adults report having to deal with back pain at some point or another. Treating chronic back pain involves countless physiotherapy sessions and trips to the orthopaedic surgeon or chiropractor. However, many people suffering from these back problems could have avoided their pain and related costs by having healthy lifestyles and habits that don’t put their spine under unnecessary stress and strain. If you suffer from minor back problems, or you’re trying to avoid developing back pain, follow these three ways to look after your spine as much as possible.
Check Your Mattress
When was the last time you bought a new mattress? Most households don’t realise that you need to change your mattress every ten years to ensure that the springs aren’t worn out. If yours is older than this, you may find that it no longer supports you as you sleep. Finding the best mattress for you can be a minefield with so many different products on the market, so you might want to do some research before heading out to buy a new one. The Mattress Guide have done the work for you in this best mattress guide, using their knowledge and expertise to ensure that you are able to find the best mattress UK wide that suits your needs.
Having a comfortable and firm mattress will enable you to sleep well, and in a better position that allows you to maintain good posture. This will help to support your spine as you sleep, so that you don’t wake up with cramps and soreness on your back which can stay with you as you carry out your day-to-day activities. The best sleeping position to support your back is lying on your side, but you might want to also try placing a pillow between your knees so that you can keep your spine in an optimal position for ensuring that it is not put under strain as you sleep.
Keep Active and Healthy
The worst thing that you can do for your back is rest, unless you have been told directly by a doctor to do so. Lying and remaining sedentary can actually aggravate your back problems. This is not to say that you should go out and run a marathon, especially if you are in pain. However, starting small and building up from a gentle walk to swimming or yoga will mean that you can stretch out the painful areas. These activities will also help to work through your worries and stress, which will mean you are less likely to hold yourself in a tense position. You might not realise it, but stress can have a significant impact on your physical health and so reducing the stress in your life will do wonders for your back.
If you’re looking to prevent back problems in the future, incorporate back strengthening and stretching exercises into your everyday routine. When you aren’t in good shape and your bones are weak, you’re more likely to put pressure on your back which can cause problems later in life. Being active, in combination with eating a balanced diet, means that you are going to lose any excess fat. This will help to prevent your spine from struggling to support the extra weight you might be carrying around your stomach area. Looking after yourself now will help to look after yourself in the future.
Being aware of your posture and how you hold your body will ensure that you are less likely to develop back problems early in your life. If you are in an active and mobile job that involves plenty of lifting, ensure that you have completed a course on how to hold items correctly so that you don’t strain your back whilst picking up heavy items. If you are working in an office job where you are sat down for the majority of the day, make sure that you have a proper desk chair that supports your back as you sit correctly in an upright position – without slouching! Take regular breaks away from your desk so that you are able to stretch your body, and give your back a rest from being sat down all day. A sore neck and achy back at the end of the day are signs that you are sitting for far too long in a poor position at your desk, and you should seek to rectify this as soon as you can.
Ensure that the ‘future you’ is healthy and grateful for the extra effort and consideration that you give yourself now, by following these simple ways that look after your back. Just as you take care to watch what you eat to look after your insides, you should take care to watch how you use your spine, to ensure that you don’t develop unnecessary back problems that you could have avoided!