The rising problem of UK back pain: How to stop breaking our backs with bad form
Back pain is sweeping the nation; Google searches for ‘back pain’ in 2021 have increased their search power by 157% since 2011. But what is causing this back-breaking boom?
One primary cause of back pain is form. Form applies to activities that we complete every day, from taking the dog for a walk and powerlifting in the gym to how we sit in our office chairs and lie in bed.
Poor form can affect how our muscles are stretched and how our bones are impacted. In this article, we explore how your bad form is affecting your back pain and what you can do to recover from any spinal sores.
In the gym
So, you’ve joined the gym in hope of boosting your health. Great choice: exercise is one of the best ways to improve your back pain. When you exercise, the movement allows the disks in your spine to exchange fluids. These fluids direct nutrition to the spine and help reduce swelling that can cause tension and pain.
However, bad form in the gym can also be a leading cause of back pain. Anaerobic exercises with bad form can cause increased pressure and tension in your back. This is particularly true for impact exercises and weightlifting. Consider the weight you use during lifting exercise and consider where pressure is being applied.
One common problem includes rounding. Rounding is caused when your hips are positioned at an awkward angle and can place stress on the ligaments around your spine.
Ensuring that your form and posture is good during exercise is essential for improving back pain. Speak to a fitness guru or trainer to understand how to improve your exercise techniques.
While we know that bad form during the day can contribute to back pain, have you ever considered how our night-time activities are adding to your problems? Yes, even when you go to bed, our sleeping routines and form can cause bad back pain. At a time when your body should be repairing, are you doing more damage to your body than you’re aware of?
Our sleeping routines can cause back pain through several factors, including sleeping positions and unsupportive mattresses. Poor sleeping positions put additional pressure on your spine, which causes its natural curve to flatten. This is likely to occur with people who sleep on their front, chest towards the mattress. Instead, it’s recommended that you sleep on your back or side.
An unsupportive mattress also causes uneven and additional pressure. This is because it can reinforce bad sleeping posture, strain muscles, and hinder spine alignment. Instead, consider using a memory foam spring mattress. These breathable and supportive mattresses help the spine and encourage good sleeping posture.
Working on it
In 2021, there are 261 working days of the year. Working for eight hours every day, we’ll spend a combined total of 2,088 hours in our offices or workspace. But is your work-life causing your back pain? Whether you spend long hours on your feet in retail or work from a desk in an office, bad form can be adding to your back pain.
Some jobs, such as delivery or warehouse jobs, may require you to lift heavy or awkward loads. Drivers may spend long hours in an uncomfortable car or van seat, and poor office chairs can cause bad posture.
Good form is essential for alleviating these problems. When lifting heavy objects at work, you should bend at your knees and not at your waist or back. Do this slowly and take regular breaks to alleviate built-up stress on your spine.
For those who sit down for the majority of their jobs, supportive chairs that follow the natural curve of your spine can help improve back pain. You can also ensure that monitors are placed at eye level, so your neck isn’t strained by looking up or down at a screen. You can also get supports for your office chair or car seat to help support your posture and form, improving the feeling of back pain.
Good posture is crucial for alleviating back pain
Good posture and good form are crucial for alleviating back pain. From hitting the gym to hitting the hay, ensuring that your spine is supported is essential. There are so many factors that can contribute to tension and aches in the back, but the solution can be as simple as identifying the part of your lifestyle that may be contributing to the problem and changing your habits to alleviate the pain.
Get more tips to help with backpain
You can read more advice to help reduce and treat back pain in these articles:
- Eight positive actions you can take to prevent back pain after the age of 40
- Five tips from a chiropractor to ease pregnancy back pain
- Suffer from a bad back? Find out what can cause it, and how to relieve symptoms
- Are you worrying yourself into pain? How to ‘think’ your way to better health
Beth Riley is a Content Manager at OTTY Sleep, covering topics surrounding sleep and the many factors that play a part in us getting the important deep rest needed to keep us rejuvenated and functioning at our best.