As always, prevention is better than cure. Moreover, there seems to be no proven solution to get rid of back pain indefinitely. How should we take care of our backs?
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight, even an extra 5kg, can exert additional force on your back.
- Exercise regularly. Do strengthening and stretching exercises to keep your back and tummy muscles strong and elastic, so that they can support your back.
- Beware of wardrobe offenders. Stay away from high heels, heavy briefcase and heavy handbags as these throw your back out of balance.
- Maintain correct posture. When standing, make sure you lift up your chest, tuck in your stomach and tilt your hips forward.
- When working on your computer or driving long distances, do not slouch and use a small cushion or rolled up towel to support the small of your back.
- Make sure your chair and desk are at a comfortable height.
- Take breaks often and walk around.
- Sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees or sleep on your side with your knees bent and a pillow between your knees.
- When lifting heavy loads, keep your back straight and let your legs do the lifting.
- Relieve stress. Tension and stress can reduce the blood supply to your muscles and cause muscle spasm. This can cause back pain. Massage can help relieve neck and back pain that is due to muscle spasm.
(Source: Health Promotion Consultancy, National Healthcare Group. Copyright 2002 by NHG)