Don't let your back lock up in lockdown!
Is working from home taking its toll on your back? Has your posture gone wrong? Back specialist Garry Trainer joins us with tips on maintaining a strong spine and what to do if you find yourself in pain.
DID YOU KNOW?
- About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes.
- Back pain is the second most common cause of absence from work in Great Britain.
- On average an employee with back pain takes 17 days off to recover from an episode.
- Treating all types of back pain costs the NHS more than £1 billion per year.
THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF LOCKDOWN ON YOUR BACK
Garry says this extended period in lockdown is likely to have a negative impact on our back: “We’re spending an unprecedented amount of time sitting on our sofas watching TV. When you do this, the last thing you think about is maintaining a good posture, and your back naturally goes into a banana shape, where your chin is jutted forward, and your neck is overcompressed. Over time, this compromised posture can cause muscles, nerves, discs and joints to not work as efficiently, and develop into back pain.”
THE IMPACT OF WORKING FROM HOME Garry says, “Prolonged sitting, even in the best ergonomically designed chairs is a challenge. But sitting on a dining chair is even more of a challenge, because it doesn’t assist posture or provide any support - which you need if sitting for longer periods. An incorrect posture can lead to some parts of your back becoming overstretched, which will eventually lead to pain and discomfort. This can also have a knock-on effect to the nerves in your back, which don't have room to move, meaning they get squashed and could cause sciatica, pins and needles, and numbness down your arms into your fingers.”
HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT WORK FROM HOME SET-UP
Place a small folded in half cushion onto the back half of a chair.
Once seated place the other cushion into the small of the back, where there is that nice concave curve for extra support.
Garry says, “By doing this, it lifts the pelvis a little higher than your knees, nd in turn, throws the lower back into its proper position - offering a nice concave curve. When the back is its right position, it doesn’t over stretch or compress structures like muscles, nerves discs and joints.”
SIMPLE RELIEF TECHNIQUES TO HELP BACK PAIN IN LOCKDOWNWith osteopath, massage and acupuncture services closed for the foreseeable, Garry has two simple techniques that could make a lot of difference to people who have tightened up in lockdown, or for those who suffer with back pain.
- MASSAGE TECHNIQUE FOR NECK AND SHOULDERS
Go behind the individual who wants/needs back relief, and put both hands on their shoulders. Squeeze and release, then roll your thumbs up and over the shoulders, neck and rub down their arms. This should help ease muscular tensions which commonly accumulates in the neck and shoulders.
- ACUPRESSURE POINTS - HOW TO FIND AND TREAT THE TENDER SPOTS
*By rubbing over the shoulders - a person will be able to tell you where it hurts. You can usually feel that it feels tighter in places. Once you have located that tender spot apply a gradual fingertip pressure into the skin. This will help loosen any tightness.