Is Your Sore Back Getting You Down? - Alba Physiotherapy
Brid Walsh Health Tips

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Is Your Sore Back Getting You Down?

Back Pain

If you’ve ever had a sore lower back, you’re not alone!

Around 80% of people in the United Kingdom will be affected by lower back pain at some point in their lives. Symptoms can range from a dull ache to a stabbing or shooting sensation. Lower back pain is extremely common, but it doesn’t just affect the middle-aged and elderly. Back pain symptoms in younger people are on the rise. There is increasing numbers of under 30s that are seeking help for lower back pain caused by spending long periods sitting at desks and being active for fewer than two hours a day. Lower back pain can be triggered by a number of lifestyle choices and medical conditions. 

The risk factors we are exposed to:

  • Sitting for too long and not getting enough movement or exercise
  • Pushing yourself too hard in the gym or sustaining a sporting injury can trigger back strain
  • Poor posture and the tendency to slouch adds strain on the back and can cause muscular back pain
  • Jobs that require repetitive bending, lifting and standing or sitting for long periods put employees at bigger risk of back pain
  • Being overweight adds more stress to the back and joints, - medical factors - a prolapsed disc - where a disc of cartilage in the spine presses on a nearby nerve or sciatica
  • Irritation of the nerve that runs from the pelvis to the feet

Tips may help reduce your risk of low back pain:

  • Do regular back exercises and stretches and stay active
  • Avoid sitting for long periods, - take care when lifting heavy load
  • Check your posture when sitting, using computers and watching television
  • Ensure the mattress on your bed supports you properly

Sitting at work

Support your back - adjust your chair so your lower back is properly supported because correctly adjusted chair will reduce the strain on your back. Get a chair that is easily adjustable so you can change the height, back position and tilt. Your knees should be slightly lower than your hips. Use a footrest, if it feels necessary. Adjust your chair height so you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor. This can help prevent repetitive strain injuries. Your elbows should be by the side of your body so your arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint. 

Your screen should be directly in front of you. A good guide is to place the monitor about an arm's length away, with the top of the screen roughly at eye level. To achieve this, you may need a monitor stand. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, try exchanging your handset for a headset. Repeatedly cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can strain the muscles in your neck.

Don't sit in the same position for too long. Make sure you change your posture as often as is practicable. Frequent short breaks are better for your back than fewer long ones. It gives the muscles a chance to relax while others take the strain.

To beat back pain take one step at a time. Even if you can change 10%of this advice you will notice a difference. Probably the biggest advice we give people is, if its not getting better, seek help. What you have tried up until now hasn't changed things in a lot of cases, sometimes you even feel worse, so the question is to you, what are you loosing by not doing something about this??

If you would like to talk about your back then Message us on info@albaphysiotherapy.co.uk OR if you know someone who is suffering we would love if you shared this link to help them beat back pain and feel better

Brid Walsh

Brid Walsh

Brid qualified in 2004 with a BSC Honours Degree in Sports and Exercise Science from the University of Limerick, Ireland. In evaluating her future path, she spent a summer in Alaska with the Hope Foundation supporting disabilities of various sorts. Her further work experience in the Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin convinced her that Physiotherapy was the direction she wished to specialise in. In 2007 she subsequently qualified from the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen with an MSC in Physiotherapy.
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