We are passionate about helping back pain with quality assessments and hands on care but there are many additional ways to help back pain at home, at work and at school. To help back pain most of your attention should go to the activities that you do the most often and for the longest time. Consider making a short list of areas for potential improvement and refer to them regularly. Do not hesitate to ask us for help as we have a wealth of knowledge in this area.
IMPORTANT: If you experience pain or discomfort with any of the following, stop the activity and consider discussing this with a spine health professional.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for professional help or advice. Neither Sure Start Chiropractic nor any of its practitioners assume any responsibility for harm or injury to anyone who uses the information, or damage to any equipment.
- ONE-SIDED CARRYING It may help back pain to swap sides regularly each day when carrying your handbag, brief case or child. More information on ‘One-Sided Activities’ is available here.
- SQUAT, DON’T STOOP Help back pain by avoiding stooping to pick up items from a low place (or putting them down). Many people pick things up from a low place multiple times each day (just ask a parent with young children) and done poorly it can place considerable repeated strain on the back. Regularly squatting instead of stooping may help back pain in some cases. More information on this topic can be found here.
- I-PAD/TABLETS Rest the device on a couple of cushions when using these devices on your lap. The elevated position will help you assume a more upright posture and may help back pain. Alternatively, use the device whilst lying on your tummy. This propped-up posture can be helpful for older children and adults because it counteracts the slouching posture some of us use when sitting. See ‘IMPORTANT’ above.
- CARS When getting in, sit on the edge of the seat first, and then swing both legs into the car together (avoid putting one leg in first then sitting down heavily). When getting out, swing your legs out first. This routine may help back pain in some cases. Another way to help back pain in the car is to keep your seat back relatively upright. Shift your bottom well back into the seat and elevate your breastbone. High seat positions (the part you sit on) are usually better to help back pain than low positions.
- TELEPHONES Switching hands when using the phone and not cradling the phone in the crook of your neck may help back pain. Regular phone users could look into purchasing a lightweight headset or using the hands free speaker. More information on ‘One-Sided Activities’ is available here.
- MATTRESSES The right mattress can help some cases of back pain. Ideally a mattress should be firm enough to hold your body level, with a top layer soft enough so your shoulders and hips depress into the mattress. Rotate/flip your mattress (with great care) periodically through the year to avoid depressions from forming. More information about mattresses can be found here.
- PILLOWS The right pillow may help relieve back pain. An ideal pillow is one that matches your body size and preferred sleeping position. The right pillow for a side-sleeper may differ from that of a back-sleeper and a tummy-sleeper. If in doubt, you can bring in your pillow to be checked by a Chiropractor. More info on Pillows can be found here. This article is relevant for adults too.
- VACUUMING/SWEEPING Swap the side of your body that you hold the vacuum or broom regularly throughout each session to help back pain. The pushing/pulling action can be quite stressful for some people’s low back and pelvic joints. More information on ‘One-Sided Activities’ is available here.
- LIFTING Bracing your back when lifting, by tightening your tummy and buttock muscles, may help protect you from back pain. When it is difficult to lift correctly, i.e. getting bags in or out of a car, bring the item to you first then lift carefully.
- SOFAS The best sofas to help back pain are often the ones that are higher off the ground and have shallow (front to back distance) seat cushions. As an alternative to sitting on your sofa, you may lie on your back with your knees bent or legs draped over the arm of the sofa. You may also lie on your side with your knees bent and a pillow or small cushion to support your head. When in these positions however, avoid lying with your head on the armrest of the sofa.
- CROSSING LEGS When sitting, avoid crossing your legs for extended periods to help avoid back pain. If you choose to cross your legs, do so at the ankles, rather than at the knees and swap legs occasionally.
- READING IN BED If you read or watch TV in bed, avoid slouching and extreme angulation of the head and neck. This may help with some cases of back pain. An alternative to sitting in bed when reading is lying on your front with a pillow under your chest. See ‘IMPORTANT’ above.
If you would like more information on the topic of how to help back pain please contact our friendly chiropractic team on 8272 2862 or email us through the website.