Back Pain - what it is and how to avoid it.

What is back pain?

80% of the adult population in this country will have had a significant episode of back pain in their life. Around 10% of the population have back pain at any one time.

It can come on quite suddenly, or over time and can be caused by lifting or moving awkwardly. However, more often than not, acute back pain comes on without any specific injury to your back.

Dealing with Back Pain

When you have back pain it is crucial that you keep moving.

Movement is something you can do that contributes to your back getting better. Part of that process is allowing time for the bodys natural healing to occur and this will be much better if you continue to move, even if this causes some discomfort.

It will not do any harm - remember spines are designed to move. 

At Your Desk

Working at a desk all day can take its toll on your back. Simply by having your desk set up incorrectly you can cause an episode of back pain - which can make working feel almost impossible.

Try to have your computer screen at eye level in front of you and your chair directly facing it to avoid unnecessary twisting.
Have your mouse and your keyboard within easy reaching distance so that you don't have to stretch to use them.
Take regular breaks and get up and walk around the office regularly, to stretch out your muscles and give your back a rest.

Willaston Physio For Business can offer help and advice.

Lifting and Handling

When lifting and handling heavy goods, it is important that you take extra care  with your back. It is so easy ot strain the muscles in your back by bending down and lifting an item - and it can cause back pain to come on quite suddenly.

Whether it is a stack of heavy paper in an office or machinery - always use your knees to bend down and lift instead of bending your back.
If possible use lifting and moving equipment such as a trolley to aid you.
Always test the weight of the item you are about to lift by pushing it with your foot. This way you know what to expect.
Always plan ahead to ensure that where you are moving the item to is clear and uncluttered - this avoids having to hold the item for longer, causing unnecessary strain.

On Your Feet

If your job requires you to be on your feet all day, then it is likely that you will at some point have suffered from aches and pains. Standing is generally better for your back than sitting as it puts less pressure on your lower back, but it is important to try and keep moving and walking around and to sit every so often.

As will all jobs, getting regular exercise and keeping fit outside work will greatly improve the strength of your back and reduce your chances of getting back pain.
Take regular breaks to stretch your muscles - this will prevent stiffness and keep your circulation going.

If you are in any doubt, please see a medical professional.

Articles published by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust.