Back Care Awareness

Back Care Awareness

In October Physiotherapy Matters focused on improving back care in light of Back Care Awareness Week (5th -9th October).

It is likely that everyone will experience some form of back pain at some point in their lifetime and it is important to reduce the chances of developing severe back pain. Around 31 million days of work are lost due to neck pain or low back pain every year, and Physiotherapy Matters works alongside employers to reduce sickness absence by helping them maintain a healthy workforce.

To highlight this, every Friday our Occupational Health Physiotherapist Mark Henderson gave presentations to the employees on the importance of back care. Here he shares 3 simple ways to improve the care of your back:

Increasing physical activity
It is recommend by the NHS to do 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week which can be broken up into shorter periods. This is even more important in sedentary jobs like working at a computer.

  • Activities such as cycling or brisk walking count as moderate exercises.
  • Going for a brisk walk before or after work can be an easy way to fit in some exercise.
  • Attending gym exercise classes and Pilates and Yoga are good for back pain.

Good manual handling

Make sure when you have to move any objects that you are using the correct technique:

  • Have a good foundation- feet shoulder width apart
  • Keep the object close to your body
  • Bend knees to squat
  • Keep a straight back
  • Tighten stomach muscles during lift
  • Push through legs until standing

Maintain good posture when sitting

  • Keep your head aligned with your spine
  • Relax your shoulders, don’t allow them to elevate or round.
  • Adjust the height of the arm rest so your elbow is at a 90° angle.
  • Adjust the seat forward to reduce the reaching distance to a minimum
  • Sit with your bottom right at the back of your seat with your weight even through both sitting bones.
  • Adjust the height of your chair so your knees are level or just below your hips.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • Don’t cross your legs.
  • Your feet should be in front of your knees.