According to research commissioned by Mind Your Back, a nationwide initiative to help manage and prevent back pain, up to one in seven Britons experience back pain on a daily basis, with six out of ten reporting that it negatively impacts their health and wellbeing.
But why am I experiencing back pain?
According to Physiotherapist Sammy Margo of mindyourbackuk.com, “Poor posture is a big cause to back discomfort, even more so in recent years with the advent of working from home, and often, working from the sofa, bed, or kitchen table.”
Fortunately, there are a few simple adjustments that may be done to make your regular postures a bit more back-friendly.
Do you engage in any of these painful postures?
- Slouching over the wheel when driving
Sammy warns that protracted hunching in the driver’s seat can make your back, core, and abdominal muscles sore and painful since their blood supply is reduced.
“Remaining in one posture for an extended amount of time, sitting forward and hunching over the wheel, may greatly impair your spinal health.”
When driving, keep your knees just below your hips and your hips firmly seated to protect your spine. For this, you might need to slightly modify your seat.
“Make sure your seat is slightly slanted back and not entirely upright at a 90-degree angle, and that your eye level is higher than the driving wheel. Take periodic rests, too,” Sammy says.
- Slouching at a desk
Given how frequently people work from home these days, desk postures are probably not optimal.
Even offices may not be configured optimally to safeguard your spine.
Aim to sit with your ear, shoulder, and hip in line, shoulders relaxed, to support the health of your neck and spine.
Sammy advises that you try sitting with your bottom against the back of a chair, your feet flat on the ground, and your screen directly in front of you at eye level.
- fixating on your phone downward
So many of us will stroll about with our heads buried in a phone. However, this could make us more susceptible to tech neck.
“Aim to have your ear, shoulder, hip, and ankle in line when standing to look at your phone, including when you are in a line, for instance.
To learn how to stand with proper posture, Sammy suggests leaning your back against a wall.
“As for checking your phone, try not to glance down at it while you’re walking.
Instead, wait until you’re in the most posture-friendly position whether sitting or standing, and then stare at a screen at eye level.
- Slumbering on the sofa
long workday After work, it’s simple to get a touch too cosy on the couch and start dozing off.
“Sleeping on the couch is enticing! And because of bad sleeping position, it’s normal to wake up with a “crick in your neck,” according to Sammy.
When resting on your side, the ideal sleeping posture entails supporting your body in line with the curve of your spine to assist guarantee proper alignment.
“This can be helped by using a flatter pillow. If you sleep on your side or back, try putting a cushion between your legs or under your knees.
- Lying on your stomach to sleep
Your sleeping posture can have a significant influence on the health of your spine.
“The very worst posture for the health of your back is to sleep on your stomach.
Sammy explains, “If you’re tilting your head to one side to breathe, it’s very harmful for your spine.”
According to her, sleeping with the neck bent might cause muscular strains that cause neck pain.
“The neck, shoulders, and upper back may hurt as a result of a twisted head and neck.
“Sleeping on your stomach also keeps your feet in an awkward posture and puts pressure on your knee joints, which are directed downward into the mattress.”
Sammy advises keeping your head straight to reduce strain on your neck if you can’t sleep unless you’re on your stomach.
“When your head is facing down, putting a firm cushion beneath your forehead might provide you ample room to breathe.
She advises placing a firm cushion beneath the stomach to maintain a straight spine.
- Squatting on one leg
Leaning on one leg may make it more comfortable to stand with more weight on one side of your body than the other, but doing so might put undue stress on the lower back and hip on that side.
Your lower back and buttocks may become strained and painful as a result of muscular imbalances that may develop over time in the area surrounding your pelvis.
Get into the habit of standing with your weight evenly spread on both legs to enhance your posture, advises Sammy.
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