Everyone has heard it said before, ‘You should lift with your knees’, ‘You should sit up straight’, ‘You shouldn’t sit so long, get up and walk about’. The problem is we are being told these things because we are already doing them wrong.
So many of us now spend time behind either our phones, a desk, a laptop or IPad and sitting so long it’s only natural you tire and begin to slouch isn’t it?
Or what about those of us not desk based? The ones who lift heavy things all day or are bent over under pipes or laying carpets. Again these jobs can cause back pain too!
Back injuries are, and have been for years, the leader in work-based injuries recorded in the UK and they are almost always avoidable.
Back injury can occur from something as simple as a momentary lapse of concentration where we lean to reach for something without thinking, where we reach down into a drawer, where we sneeze unexpectedly. Sometimes it can be a result of a purposeful movement, lifting something out of the boot, deadlifts in the gym (you know who you are), carrying something heavy. Though these incidences that bring on back pain seem spontaneous, they rarely are. Sure the particular activity has loaded the back incorrectly but it is more often than not months and years of habitual bad movement and postures which have brought you to the point where a simple sneeze in the wrong position results in back pain and agony.
It is estimated that Back Pain costs the population of Britain £5 billion per year. This is in lost wages, lost productivity at work, doctors bills etc. But this is only the monetary value. What about the cost to the you as a person? The pain associated with sitting and driving the car, let alone getting in and out of the car! The inability to pick up your children? Carry the shopping? Inability to go to the Gym? Not to mention the temper we have when we are sore!
It is in everyone’s own interest to look after their back to reduce their risk of back pain. Time and time again we are told exercise is best. And here it is again folks: EXERCISE IS BEST!
Exercise is the best way to prevent back injury in the first place and so will reduce the chances of you developing back pain. If you have an inactive lifestyle or are overweight you are much more likely to develop backache generally, and on top your risk of work-related back injury is greatly increased. Back pain is far easier to prevent than it is to cure once it develops! And far cheaper too!
So, our advice, get yourself seen by a physio or PT, get your movement patterns assessed and get the information and exercises specific to you and developed to prevent yourself having to suffer back pain in the future.