Hi there! Hope you have been following our series on “tips on how to prevent back pain”. Today, we are discussing POSTURE and how it affects back pain.
Good posture is very important for preventing back pain. How we stand, sit, lift and sleep can have an important effect on our backs. Thus, to maintain a good posture, you need to;
- Stand upright with your head facing forward and your back straight. Your weight should be evenly balanced on both feet, your legs straight and body upright with the natural curve of your spine.
- Sit upright, when sitting at a desk, with a support in the small of your back. Your knees and hips should be level and your feet should be flat on the floor. The desk should be of sufficient height and with sufficient leg space so that you are close enough to sit upright and work comfortably without having to bend forwards.
Also avoid perching on a stool with your back bent forwards and sitting still in one position for a long time particularly in low soft arm chairs.
- Ensure that your lower back is well supported while driving. The foot controls in your car should be squarely in front of your feet and the wing mirrors must be adequate and correctly positioned enough to avoid having to twist around.
Also, endeavor to take regular breaks when you are driving long distances so you can stretch your legs.
- Sleep on your side and not flat on your back. Make sure you sleep on a bed that has a firm, well-sprung mattress and base and not necessarily hard in order to support your body while supporting the weight of your shoulders and buttocks, keeping your spine straight. However, an alternative to this in case you have a mattress that is too soft, is to place a 2-centimetre firm board on top of the base and underneath the mattress.
Furthermore, avoid using too many pillows as these cause excessive spine curvature. One pillow is sufficient so that your head and neck are in line with the rest of your body when lying on your side.
- Lift objects with your feet apart- bend your knees and hips slightly, keeping your back straight with one foot in front of the other and at right angles to it. The load should be held close to your body, once you are upright and your shoulders should be level and facing in the same direction as your hips.
To be continued…