There may be many contributory factors that can cause or exacerbate back pain including poor posture, previous injuries, muscle strain or tension, ligament or tendon strain, incorrect lifting or movement, being overweight or osteoporosis, just to name a few.
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause, but the following are worth considering:
- Check your posture in the mirror; look at the left and right sides of your body to see if they are symmetrical. Make sure your shoulders are down and relaxed rather than up by your ears. Lengthen your neck and spine. Keep an awareness of your posture whatever you are doing.
- Lie down flat on your back and visualize the tension and pain leaving your body. Tell your back and spine to be ‘free to lengthen and widen’, ‘to be free to let go’. Meditation and quiet breathing exercises may also be beneficial.
- Acupuncture may help with some types of back pain.
- If you work at a desk for long periods of time, use an ergonomically designed chair and make sure you are working at a desk that is the right height for you. Rest your feet flat on the ground or on a book or block if necessary.
- Avoid heavy lifting. If you do need to lift something, bend your knees and keep your back straight to pick it up. Hold the object close to your body.
- Eat foods rich in essential fats – these have an anti-inflammatory effect. Include oily fish, hemp seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and avocadoes and the cold pressed oils of these nuts and seeds.
- Avoid sugar because it stimulates insulin which can increase inflammation.
- Pineapple contains the anti-inflammatory enzyme bromelain. Bromelain can also be taken as a supplement between meals to reduce inflammation (1). The constituent of Vitamin C called ‘Quercetin’ can also act as a natural anti-inflammatory.
- If you are overweight, please take steps to lose weight as this may reduce pressure on the back.
For more information and support on Back Pain, visit www.backcare.org.uk Always consult with your GP or medical doctor.
1. Walker JA, Cerny FJ, Cotter JR, Burton HW. Attenuation of contraction induced skeletal muscle injury by bromelain. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1992 Jan;24(1):20-5