To mark BackCare Awareness Week (2nd – 6th October), British Chiropractic Association research revealed the surprising myths chiropractors have heard from their patients about what causes their back pain and the best way to treat it.
Common misconceptions about back pain include thinking a slipped disc means the disc has actually ‘slipped’ out of the spine and that you should always rest a bad back. Hanging off a doorframe and even applying WD40 are some of the strange back pain cures chiropractors across the country have heard from their patients.
According to the BCA at least 65% people in the East Midlands either suffer of have suffered from back or neck pain, with 15% suffering every day.
Whilst these may seem like funny stories, there is a really serious message here. Back pain is very common and if people don’t know enough about what causes it or how best to treat it they could delay their recovery or do themselves more damage. For example many people think you should stop being active if you’re suffering from back pain whereas for most people continuing moderate exercise could be beneficial.
There are plenty of simple things we can all do to help look after our back health. These are my top tips:
- Get up, stand up. Inactivity is a leading cause of back pain. If you spend most of your day sitting make sure that you take regular breaks, ideally every 20-30 minutes. Stand up to stretch, change position and walk around a little.
- Stretch it out. If you struggle to get away from your seat at work, simple activities such as stretching and shoulder shrugging and even simply fidgeting in your seat can all help to keep the joints and muscles in your back moving.
- Keep moving. Exercise is key to a healthy back, however you don’t need to embark on any extreme fitness regimes. Adding just a few extra minutes of walking a day can have a huge impact on your posture.
- Straighten Up. Try incorporating some simple exercises into your daily routine. The British Chiropractic Association has developed – https://chiropractic-uk.co.uk/straighten-up-uk/ – a series of simple exercises designed to improve posture and help prevent back pain by promoting balance, strength and flexibility in the spine.
- Perfect your posture. Paying close attention to your posture can help you recognise back or neck pain triggers. People who want to improve their posture should try imagining they have a plumb line hanging straight from their ears to ankles – with everything in the middle sitting on the same line.One way to do this is to try standing in a relaxed way and then gently contracting the abdominal muscles