Tips for a Healthy Back

In this day and age, sedentary stressful jobs and fast food options have unfortunately become the norm in our western world. Our poor lifestyle choices due to increasingly busy schedules make us more susceptible to nonspecific lower back pain. Non-specific lower back pain is defined as lower back pain which is not attributable to a known specific pathology i.e. fractures, deformities, osteoporosis, tumours, infections etc. Almost 84% of people have an episode of lower back pain at some point in their lives. Lower back pain is the most common condition that keeps Australians aged 45-64 out of the workforce. It also places a huge economic burden on Australia with over $4.8 billion per year spent on its management.

Below are some tips on how you can avoid lower back pain. Given the current situation, I would argue that now is the best time to get started with these small changes and make them into habits. Let’s all work towards a healthy spine and a healthier version of ourselves during this period of isolation.

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1) Setup your workplace in an ergonomic manner that suits your job, tasks and body. Our Sports Focus Physiotherapists can help you with this if you are unsure on how to get started. stress-management-in-your-life

2) Try and control your stress levels. Stress can cause tension in the spine and result in pain. Prioritise self-care and put aside some time to relax and unwind amidst this chaotic world.

3) Take breaks every 30 to 60 minutes. The spine is designed to move and does not like to stay still for too long. Recline in your chair or go for a short walk to break up long periods of sitting.

4) When lifting heavy objects, ensure that you keep them close to your body and not away from you. Also estimate the weight and grab a helping hand if necessary.

5) When doing housework or chores around the house, try and change your posture frequently or take breaks if you are spending some time in a bent or arched position.

6) Walking is a great way to manage back pain and relieve stress. Put on your best pair of walking shoes and commit to daily walks. Your body will love this daily treat!

7) Exercise for at least 30 minutes, 3 times per week. Gently stretching the spine is a great way to maintain mobility in your back. Here are 3 simple exercises to get you started. Your Sports Focus Physiotherapist can help you devise a personalised exercises program if required.

Rebecca Jayaprakash
Sports Focus Physiotherapist