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Part 2: ‘Don’t settle for back Pain’ Top tips to reduce back pain and improve your lifestyle.

Part 2: ‘Don’t settle for back Pain’ Top tips to reduce back pain and improve your lifestyle.

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have experienced back pain (acute or chronic) at least once in our lives and it’s not something you want to occur regularly. It can hold you back from activities you usually complete every day and doesn’t only physically affect you, it can also be detrimental to your mental wellbeing. Despite how aggravating back pain can be, many of us go about our normal lives not actually doing anything about it. Maybe we’ll have a massage every so often when we receive a Spa package for Christmas but aside from that, back pain can be as normal as brushing our teeth twice a day for some people. It’s just part of ‘getting old’. Aside from strength and mobility exercises there are many other subtle lifestyle changes that can be applied to target back pain. Number 1. Stop sitting down for long periods of time Sitting down for a long period of time not only weakens your core and bum it also reduces mobility in the hip flexors. This can cause a poor posture resulting in Kyphosis (rounded thoracic spine) or/and Lordosis (inward curvature of the lumbar spine). Poor posture combined with any sort of activity involving moving the body can result in strain on the spine: back pain. Try not to sit down for longer than 20 minutes at a time. Stretch, walk, stand. On long car journeys place a small pillow or rolled up towel in between the seat and your lumbar spine for extra support. Number 2. Sleeping arrangements We need to maintain a neutral spine when we are sleeping so try to avoid both an arched and flat back. When sleeping on your side try placing a pillow or towel in between your knees to avoid the top knee rolling over the bottom one to maintain stacked hips. When sleeping on your back try placing a towel/small pillow underneath your knees and lumbar spine. Finally, if you’re a stomach sleeper try placing the towel or pillow under the lower abdomen and pelvis to ease the strain on the spine. If any of the above worsens your pain, stop. Number 3: Learn to lift Whether it’s a toddler or the shopping bags lifting correctly is the most important thing. Bend your knees and your hips to pick up anything not your back. Even if it’s something light, if you’re already suffering from back pain any strain on the spine can only worsen the problem. Think squatting.

Number 4: Mindfulness It would be impossible to maintain a perfect posture 100% of the time because nobody is perfect, we all have our slip ups. However being mindful of your posture as much as possible will not only help your back pain it will also help increase your mood and confidence. Even when taking part in your normal routine like making dinner or reading a book. Be mindful. Question yourself. Are you in a good posture? How could you improve the position you’re in? Number 5: Shoelaces When reaching to touch your toes (tying your shoe laces) bring the foot to you. Place it on a high surface such as a stool or sit on a chair and cross the leg over the opposite knee.

Number 6: Act on it There are thousands of very beneficial YouTube videos consisting of both stretching and strengthening exercises designed to decrease back pain. There is probably local yoga classes and fitness classes that you can attend which should be easily adaptable. We have a Primal Fitness Class running in Monmouth three times a week that will help strengthen the muscles needed to protect the spine. Coming soon to Monmouth is an indoor ‘Moga’ class aimed to increase mobility and flexibility – exercises that can target back pain leaving the body and mind rejuvenated and distressed. Stay tuned for the launch of our new 'Moga' class. Primal Human Needs also offer Personal Training and Sports Massage in Monmouthshire. Both can be aimed to reduce or even remove back pain for good. Get in touch with one of our trainers and book your free consultation today. Don’t settle for pain.

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