At Home Christian Jessen 2014 - 127

| vertebral column|

A lack of exercise
Smoking
A trauma or injury, such
as a fracture
Being overweight
A trip or fall
On rare occasions, back pain may
be the result of a serious underlying
medical problem such as a slipped
disc, osteoporosis, spinal stenosis
(a narrowing of the spaces between
the spine), misshapenness of the
spine, or an infection of the spine.
In some cases, back pain may even
be a sign of underlying cancer.
To rule out any of these conditions,
you should seek medical advice from
your GP, particularly if:
You have difficulty passing or
controlling urine
You experience numbness,
pins and needles or weakness
in the legs
You are unsteady when standing
Your pain is persistent and too
severe to manage
Your pain is the result of an injury

Words: Carly rigley | PhotograPhs: getty images

PR eVeN t i oN

Taking good care of your back can
greatly reduce your risk of getting
back problems in the first place, so
it's wise to get yourself into good
habits. Make sure you...
exercise regularly - 30 minutes a
day of gentle walking and swimming
are particularly recommended for
keeping your back in top condition
Reduce your stress levels with
relaxation techniques such as
yoga, Pilates or meditation
Bend from your knees and hips,
and not your back when moving or
lifting heavy objects
Replace your mattress if it starts
to sag - a firm one will support
your back
maintain good posture - keep
your shoulders back and remember
not to slouch
Sit up straight in a chair that
supports your lower back

t ReatM e Nt

From gentle, moderate exercise
(prescribed by your GP) and a
comforting hot water bottle, to
pain-killers and recommendations
from specialists, there are many
ways to nurse your back pain.

at the office

It's not just manual workers who
experience back problems - office
workers suffer, too. But taking the right
measures can reduce your risk of pain.
reduce the tension in your back
with a properly adjusted chair. the
backrest of your chair should give you
adequate support, especially in your
lower back. sit up straight, make sure
your knees are level with your hips
and your feet are rested on the floor.
also, avoid crossing your legs, as it
can twist your spine
Your monitor should be about
30cm to 75cm from your eyes
(roughly an arm's length from your
face), and the top of your screen
should be approximately at eye level.
Your keyboard and mouse should be
within easy reach, too
the best way to prevent back pain
in the first place is to take regular
breaks away from your computer and
walk around. For every hour at your
keyboard, it's recommended to take
at least five to 10 minutes' rest

LIFESTYLE

exercise is particularly good at
reducing back pain as it develops
strong back and stomach muscles
to support the spine and maintain
flexibility. Swimming is extremely
effective because it actively
strengthens the muscles while
the water supports your body.
Heat therapy soothes and reduces
back pain and inflammation. Apply
a hot water bottle or heat pack
directly to the affected area, or
take a hot bath. Alternatively, cold
compression therapy, such as ice
wrapped in a towel or a cold
compress, also relieves back pain.

CompLEmEnTarY
ThErapIES

massage therapy acupressure
(when pressure is applied by the
hand or elbow instead of needles)
can help lower back pain.
aCupunCture, based on the
ancient chinese treatment using
needles to stimulate the body's >
www.athomemagazine.co.uk JULY 2014 | 127


http://www.athomemagazine.co.uk

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