Pain in back: Follow these four tips to prevent a painful back

Back pain is a very common condition and usually improves within a few weeks or months.

But, for many people, the problem is recurrent and can get in the way of everyday life.

“Nearly all of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives,” said the NHS.

Follow these four tips to help prevent back pain from occurring.

Keep your back strong

Strengthening the muscles in the back can help protect it from future problems, which can be achieved by including back exercises into your daily routine.

Regular low-impact exercise may help, while swimming, yoga and pilates are good for improving flexibility and strength.

The NHS advises aiming to exercise at least 150 minutes per week.

Be careful when lifting

Lifting can strain the back and if not done properly can lead to injury.

To reduce the risk of damaging your back when lifting, adopt a stable position, with feet slightly apart and one leg slightly forward to maintain balance.

Rather than fully bending the back to lift something off the floor, bend it only slightly. The same goes for the hips and knees.

Avoid twisting while lifting, ensuring you change direction with your feet, not your back.

Sit correctly

Sitting in the wrong position may cause or aggravate back pain. When sitting on a chair, sit up with your back straight, shoulders down and back relaxed, with your elbows at your sides.

Avoid crossing your legs and plant your feet firmly on the floor, ensuring your thighs are at right angles to your body and sloping slightly down.

Don’t sit in one position for long stretches of time. Get up and move around regularly.

Sit correctly when driving

When driving, sit with your buttocks touching the back of the seat, keep your shoulders down and against the backrest.

Adjust the angle of the backrest so you can easily reach the steering wheel with your arms bent.

For maximum back support, adjust seat depth so the distance between the edge of the seat and the back of your knees is about two or three fingers wide.

The top of the headrest should be aligned with the top of your head. Adjust the angle to allow under an inch of space between your head and the headrest.

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