Compiled and Edited by Pharm. Elizabeth Malik (Head, Pharmacy Business)

Back pain is the most common pain condition people widely complain about in our society. It affects both sexes and all ages from children to elderly people, but is most prevalent in the middle years.

Back problems can make a lot of everyday activities difficult to carry out and so we should never take our backs for granted. How we sleep, sit, stand or lift objects, what we eat, or how we deal with emotional stresses at home and work are various factors that could affect our backs if not properly carried out. The simple but effective tips that will be discussed in the next few weeks are therefore helpful in educating us on how to prevent back pain.

This week, we are starting with EXERCISE and how it helps to prevent back pain.

Regular exercise helps not only to prevent back pain but also to reduce it. It keeps the abdominal and back muscles firm. Simple activities such as Walking, Jogging, Cycling, Swimming or Yoga are all helpful in improving the flexibility and the strength of our back muscles. In addition, engaging in physical activities regularly helps to keep your weight down because having excess weight most especially around your stomach, can result in additional strain on your back.

Other simple exercises that can be carried out at home to prevent or relieve back pain include:

  • Place a pillow on the floor. Lie flat on your back on the floor with the pillow under your head. Fold your arms. Lift your head and shoulders just off the floor and then lie flat and relax. Repeat as many times as you can.
  • Lie flat on your back on the floor. Keep the legs straight and lift each heel in turn, just off the floor. Repeat as many times as you can.
  • Kneel on all fours, with your knees under hips and hands under shoulders. Slowly take your bottom backwards, maintaining the natural curve in the spine i.e arch and hollow your back. Hold the stretch for one deep breath, and then flatten your back. Repeat eight to ten times.
  • Place your hands on your abdominal area and feel your belly move as you inhale and exhale. Do this as many times a day as possible to improve your posture and overall spinal health.

However, you should stop these exercises immediately if they trigger or aggravate your pain.

To be continued…