Back pain doesn’t have to be a way of life. Physiotherapist Adem Souglar reveals his top tips to ease any discomfort.
Fairly common, 80 percent of adults experience at least one episode of back pain during their lifetime.
Physiotherapist Souglar works at The Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health, in partnership with the Princess Grace Hospital – and part of HCA Healthcare UK.
Souglar stated: “Backs hate being in the same position for hours on end.”
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His first tip is “to get out of your chair [whether that’s at the dining table, sofa or in bed] every 30 minutes”.
To remember to move it might be worthwhile to set an alarm. While taking a video call for a work meeting, it may help to “walk around [the] room”.
When possible, it’s a good idea to set up a work station that won’t put your back out.
Sat at a dining table or desk? “Sit upright… ensure your elbows are at roughly 90 degrees so you’re not stretching for the keyboard and mouse,” Souglar said.
“Have your knees and hips at around 90 degrees so your feet touch the floor,” he added.
“And try to ensure the top of your screen is in line with your eyes.”
Adding “a cushion in the small of your back gives you that bit of added support”.
Suffering from back ache already? “Heat can be great for relieving pain and stiffness in the back,” commented Souglar.
“Using a hot water bottle, heat packs or a microwaveable bean bag in the area of pain can help for short term relief,” he added.
Souglar also recommends exercises, which “have been shown to be beneficial for maintaining a healthy back and for those with back pain”.
To increase strength, he suggests to to do the “Superman”.
This is when you go on your hands and knees, with a neutral spine (good posture), hands under your shoulders and knees under the hips.
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Then, keeping the core engaged (tense and breath into the stomach) and the spine neutral, lift one arm and the opposite leg.
Repeat multiple times on both sides, and avoid rotating or twisting the body.
For increased mobility Souglar recommends doing the “Cobra”.
This is when you lay on your front and rise up onto your forearms.
“If you feel comfortable, you can try rising up onto your hands,” said Soulgar. Hold this position.
Another exercise to increase mobility and ease back discomfort is to do the “Cat/Cow”.
To do this, on all fours, dip your lower back and life the head – hold.
Then push your spine up towards the chewing and tuck the chin into your chest – hold and repeat several times.
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