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Preventing Back Pain

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 8 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Back Pain; Spine; Posture; Exercise;

Back pain is one the most common reasons for visiting the doctor of taking time off work in the UK.Most episodes of back pain can be prevented by taking some precautionary measures and by amending lifestyle.

Losing Weight

Losing weight will help to relieve the pressure on your spine in a great way. If you have a large abdomen the weight will pull your lumbar spine forward and put extra pressure on the vertebrae and ligaments leaving them more prone to injury.

Sleep Well

There is no doubt that investing in a good mattress will help to avoid back pain. Make sure the type of mattress is comfortable and that the height of the bed isn’t too low making it difficult to get in and out of.

The mattress should support your natural shape so a mattress that is too soft or too hard may work against you.The top of the spine also has a slight curve even on the side-wards aspect so a good pillow will help too keep the spine in alignment. Having no pillow or too many pillows can be damaging.


By participating in gently exercise and stretching techniques when pregnant, your body will be able to cope better with your changing shape and weight. During pregnancy the ligaments and tendons soften and are a lot looser than normal leaving them more prone to injury.Taking part in exercise will also help to achieve a smoother labour as your body will be in better shape, your lungs will function better and your oxygen levels will be higher.

Remember to always inform any fitness instructor or gym that you are pregnant as they will be able to advise you which activities are the safest and which will be the most beneficial.

Protecting Posture

Being aware of your posture can help prevent muscular disorder and rounded shoulders. Sitting straight, keeping the shoulders back and the chin up are important when looking after your back.

If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, make sure your chair is at the right height, the computer is at eye level and that you have a chair appropriate for your needs and frame. Your employer is obliged to provide any equipment that may help avoid injury.If you spend a long time wearing high heels make sure you remove the shoes often to relieve the pressure on your feet and to allow the spine to return to its natural alignment.


This is possibly the greatest area that can help prevent a back problem from occurring. Taking part in the right types of exercises will help to strengthen the muscles an ligaments of not only the spine but of the shoulders, legs and abdomen too allowing these areas too help carry weight and take the majority of the load when lifting.

Always remember to warm up properly before and after exercising, to go at your own pace, to enjoy the activity you are participating in and to drink plenty of water.Avoid twisting movements or sudden jerky movements if you already have an existing back condition.Always make sure you have been shown the correct technique when trying new sports such as weight lifting, golf or horse riding as these activities can cause injury if not performed properly.

Your back is a delicate part of the body and should be protected against injury as much as possible. Once your back has been injured once it may be prone to further problems later in life or have a general weakness.It is important to consider all your actions that are carried out every day and see if there are adjustments that can be made that might help reduce the chances of injury.

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