Have You Got Your Back?

The number of people seeking treatment for neck and back pain has increased, with 1 in 6 people experiencing annual back pain. Many people find that sitting all day at work causes them grief and neck pain is also commonly caused by being slumped over a computer and compromising your posture and straining the muscles in your neck.

Here are some tips to protect your back and neck:

  • Sleep tight:

Sleep posture and particularly the position of your neck during the night, can determine if you have a night of quality sleep. Bad sleep posture can lead to back pain and discomfort, with experts recommending to sleep on your back, which evenly distributes your body weight.

By investing in a pillow that is suitable for your neck, not only are you are setting yourself up for a better night’s sleep, but also a more comfortable day in the office. Try an orthopaedic pillow or body pillow to fit your needs.

 
  • Take a stand:

The average person spends around 8-10 hours a day sitting down, which makes what you sit on very important. Try a standing desk for a break from sitting or swap your chair for a back-supporting chair to decrease the chance of injury while at work. Standing desks have many benefits including decreasing the likelihood of shoulder and back pain.

 
  • Strengthen your core:

If you lack core strength, then your back could be paying the price. An American study has concluded that there are links between good core strength and reduced lower back pain. The body naturally compensates with the opposing muscle groups to the ones that are weak.

Try adding 20 crunches and 2 x 30 second planks to your daily workout and note the difference.

 
  • Stretch:

If you feel like your neck is stiff and back is tight, give them a stretch before bed. Gently roll onto your back, bring the knees into the chest and let them fall to the left, then the right. Do this a few times to release any tension before resting.

 
  • Foam roll:

A monthly massage is a fantastic way to keep your back muscles supple, however it can be costly. If you do not have the time or the funds, try foam rolling which is a cheap alternative - these can be picked up at Kmart for $10. The aim of foam rolling is to release any built-up tension in the fascia. By releasing muscle tension, increasing the elasticity of the arteries and blood flow, we can increase our ability to recover faster.