More of us are suffering with back pain than ever before and much of this is to do with our modern lifestyles.
Recent consumer research by the British Chiropractic Association has revealed that four in five of us are experiencing back or neck pain. This is a 10 per cent rise on last year. According to the figures, almost one in four suffer on a daily basis and younger people are suffering too with 45 per cent of 16-24 year olds currently living with back or neck pain, compared to 28 per cent last year.
So why is this happening?
Our sedentary lifestyles are to blame. Modern technology and ways of working mean many of us are staying seated without regular breaks. On average, people spend ten hours per day sitting down and less than two hours being active.
Sitting for long periods puts strain on our spine and is one of the top triggers of neck and back pain. It causes up to twice as much pressure on spinal discs as standing so it’s essential to include regular movement and stretching in your day to relieve any built up tension.
Prevent the build-up of back strain with these simple exercises from the BCA:
• Sit up straight: relax when sitting into your seat, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades touching the back rest of the chair. For drivers; the back of the seat should be set slightly backwards, so that it feels natural and your elbows should be at a comfortable and relaxed angle for driving.
• Be computer compatible: make sure the top of the screen is level with the eyebrows and the chair is titled slightly forward, allowing for the knees to be lower than the hips and the feet to be flat on the floor. Using a laptop or tablet away from a desk will encourage poor posture, so limit time spent in this way; where possible keep the screen at eye level – try stacking on a pile of books to get the height you need and use a detachable keyboard and mouse.
• Take regular breaks: don't sit for more than 20-30 minutes at a time - stand up to stretch, change position and walk around a little. If you struggle to get away then take time to gently massage the back of your head and neck as you relax your stomach region with slow easy breathing. This will help to improve posture and reduce back pain by promoting balance, strength and flexibility in the spine.
• Drink Up! Try drinking water instead of tea or coffee; it will be healthier and keep your body hydrated.
For more information and tips visit the BCA website.
If you have persistent back or neck pain we offer Chiropractic care which could help speed up recovery.
Chiropractors specialise in spinal health and are highly trained in finding the root cause of back pain. They use manual treatments such as spinal manipulation, where they use their hands to free stiff or restricted joints, or mobilisation, which is the gradual moving of joints, to relieve pain and prevent repeated episodes.
Click here for more information on our Chiropractic services or give us a call on 0208 314 5535.
Figures taken from BCA research 2014. Figures taken from BCA research 2014 on a sample of 18-24 year olds. Figures taken from BCA’s 2015 research; On the average day 1.6 hours is spent being active – walking/ playing sport/ other activities. Research was carried out on behalf of the British Chiropractic Association between: 07/01/2015 and 20/01/2015. Sample: 2,127 UK adults aged 16 – 55+. BCA website