Tips-for-a-healthy-back | Spring Chicken

Top Tips For a Healthy Back

Here is some advice about back care, including lifting advice, how to sit properly, and back-strengthening exercises.

  • Take regular exercise. Walking, swimming (especially backstroke) and using exercise bikes are all helpful ways to strengthen your back muscles.
  • Always bend your knees and hips – not your back.
  • Learn to lift heavy objects using the correct lifting technique.
  • Carry larger loads in a comfortable rucksack using both shoulder straps, and avoid sling bags.
  • Maintain a good posture – avoid slumping in your chair, hunching over a desk, or walking with your shoulders hunched.

Try to take a short break from sitting every 30 minutes.

  • Cut down, or better still, quit smoking – it is thought smoking reduces the blood supply to the discs between the vertebrae, and this may lead to these discs degenerating.
  • Lose any excess weight. The more you weigh, the greater the stress on your spine. If you are overweight, losing even 10% to 15% of your body weight can help keep your spine healthy. If you are severely overweight, talk to your doctor about a weight loss program that will allow you to safely lose weight.
  • Check that your bed provides the correct support and comfort for your weight and build, not just firmness. Sleep in a good neutral spine position.
  • Learn relaxation techniques to help manage stress. Stress is a major cause of back pain.

Never twist and bend at the same time.

  • Always sit on a chair with a back rest and sit with feet flat on the floor. Change your sitting position every few minutes.
  • First thing in the morning don’t put immediate demands on your back – give it 30 minutes to warm up.
  • Do your checks and balances. See your doctor regularly for check-ups. If you have neck pain or back pain, be sure to get it checked out. Left untreated, some spine conditions can continue to get worse and may have serious health consequences.

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