1. Optimise your weight
Keeping your weight optimal can help your back as well as having many other health benefits
Carrying extra weight puts a lot of extra stress on your back as well as other joints ( hip , knee , foot and ankle )
2. Give up smoking
Smoking has many detrimental effects on our health , but few people know that it can also effect our backs
It effects the intervertebral discs , the shock absorbers of the spine , causing them to dry out and work less effectively .
This can lead to back pain and stiffness and ultimately to wear and tear arthritis of the back.
These days there is a lot of help around to help you give up smoking , from vaporizers to hypnotherapy .
Your family doctor can help direct you to the best solution for you.
3. Be aware of your posture / Take care when lifting and carrying
Studies have been done to look at the pressures and strain on the spine when lifting and carrying. The results are very interesting subtle changes in pressure can drastically effect the force going through your discs see the chart below.
Slouch sitting it turns out is not good for you !
4. Exercise regularly
As described above the forces on your back are very high. Maintaining good muscle control of your spine can be very helpful in improving pain and preventing injury.
Some regular aerobic exercise combined with exercise that concentrates on your core muscles ( yoga , Pilates etc ) is really important for spine health.
These exercises also help with balance and flexibility in the spine .
A good physiotherapist or personal trainer can advise you on a program of exercises for the back.
For further information about our Back and Neck Clinic click here