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Maximising Back Health

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Maximising Back Health

August 26th, 2014

A study conducted by the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) has found that 80% of all Australians have either experienced, or are currently suffering from back pain. It is something that disrupts our lives, affects our overall mood and reduces our quality of life.

There are many causes of back pain, and its severity differs from one person to the next but there are a few methods you can try at home to help relieve your symptoms.

The right type of exercise – Regular exercise helps to get the blood flowing into our muscles; it is important for weight control and it can lift our moods. Provided you choose the right type, it can also help to relieve back pain. Some of the better options include:

Water Activities: Swimming and water aerobics are gentle on a sore back and the joints, providing optimum support and resistance.

Yoga: This gentle form of exercise helps to strengthen your core muscles. If you are just starting out, it may be best to attend a professional class, as correct technique is important.

Core training: This can consist of simple activities at home which will help to strengthen those muscles that support your spine. Try the three minute daily exercise program available on the Chiropractors Association of Australia website (www.chiropractors.asn.au)

Work on your posture: Remember being told to “sit up straight” at the dinner table? It was always considered good manners, but posture encompasses more than just sitting. It is about aligning your whole body from your head to your feet. Having correct posture not only gives an air of self-confidence but also helps to balance your spine, preventing back strain. Some techniques to improve posture include:

Mindfulness:

Simply being more mindful of how you’re sitting or standing is a good place to start when trying to improve your posture. Understand what good posture feels like. Find a blank piece of wall and stand with your back to it. Make sure the back of your head, your shoulder blades, bottom and heels are all touching the wall. Then imagine being stretched upwards and hold it for 30 seconds. Walk away and try to maintain the feeling of that pose.

Prolonged sitting:
Keeping good posture can be difficult when you have to remain seated for extended periods of time. There are a few key points to remember when sitting at a desk. Ensure both your feet reach the floor. Adjust your chair’s features such as the lumbar support so it is comfortable for your body. Sit completely up against the chair and avoid leaning forward if you can. If possible, try to get up for a stretch or walk every 20 minutes.

Sleep well:
We spend many hours lying in our beds, so it’s not surprising that it has a significant effect on our health, but getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult when you suffer from back pain. A supportive bed is the first step. When choosing a mattress, there are many factors to consider, such as your height, weight and age. These factors will help determine which will suit you best. Once you’ve narrowed it down, be sure to lay on the mattresses for at least 15 minutes. Sleepy’s is the only mattress retailer to sell a range of mattresses tested endorsed by the CAA, so you can be sure they provide the necessary support.

Take measures to manage and reduce your back pain today by increasing movement, getting quality sleep and staying active!

As always, Sleep Healthy!