Top 5 Tips to Better Back Care
Back pain, especially low back pain, is by far the most common complaint our Melbourne Osteopath’s see. Almost every Australian will experience some form of back pain in their lifetime. Many low back pain episodes are avoidable. There are simple habits you can adopt to reduce your risk of a flare-up and keep you out of our clinic!
- Reduce the amount of time you are seated.The more you sit, the less your core muscles are switched on and that means less back support. It also increases compressive load onto your low back. When this happens your joints and discs are asked to do a lot more of the work and often these strain as a result. So get up, walk around, walk at lunchtime or even better, get a Sit-Stand Desk that is electronically controlled.
- Strengthen your gluts.It’s not very osteopathic just to single out one muscle to save us all, but the gluteal muscles are just so important for pelvic and low back stability. Simple “bridges” or “clams” are so effective in strengthening your gluts. See exercises, the ‘clam’ is easier without a band and still effective but the band obviously increases the difficulty.
- Exercise.This is obvious, and it will vary for different people. But if you exercise, your core muscles are engaged and this is key to supporting your low back. Walking or gentle exercise such as swimming or bike riding are brilliant. Many patients do Pilates or Yoga, which is great, but many of us don’t have the money or the time to keep doing that, so just get out and walk for 20 minutes every night instead.
- Avoid heavy lifting.Another very obvious rule, but it is amazing how many people come into us saying, “I know I shouldn’t have done it, but I just needed to move that large pot plant/chest of drawers/box of wine out of the car…” Just get someone to help you. Get to know your neighbours, ask them to help out for 1 minute. Patients can end up getting months of treatment for one silly lifting injury.
- Drive less. Driving is one of the worst things for your back. Two reasons. One you are sitting in a position that is unergonomic with your right leg outstretched and rotated on the accelerator. This puts traction stress onto your back whilst you are sitting. And the vibration from the road puts pressure onto your low back and its discs whilst in a compromising position. Ask someone that has had back pain, they all hate driving!
If you are looking for back pain help, come visit your Melbourne Osteopath at City Osteopathy, we are experienced, motivated and caring practitioners.