Lately, my Twitter timeline has been full of people talking about back pain. Perhaps because I follow alot of people with young children (back-cripplers), who knows?
My husband and I run a back pain studio and I'm finding it really hard not to pimp out the business to my pain-riddled followers. Bad business sense? Perhaps, but the Twitter account in question is a personal one and I don't want my followers to feel obliged to make an appointment or that something is being pushed on them.
So I thought instead, I'd just add a wee post for any of you who do suffer to give advice on how to manage back pain, the best ways to prevent it and who to see if it all gets too much.
Your best defence against back pain is strength. If you can get to a Pilates or core-strengthening class, you're on your way to a stronger back which gives greater support to the spine and reduces vulnerability to injury. Better still, if you can it's well worth going to see a specialist sports therapist, rehab professional or physio (even if it's just one session) to get a specific core-based exercise programme.
Work on 'activating' your core each time you lift your child, twist or move with weight. Read here on how to do this.
Avoid twisting to lift or put down your child/something of significant weight. Stand straight on, keep your back straight and bend your knees.
A hot bath and ibuprofen can work wonders for short-term back pain.
If you get pain down your legs, there's a chance you may have a prolapsed (slipped) disc. See a chiropractor or osteopath if this is the case. If there is no prolapse, it could be tight muscles in your buttocks causing the problem. A good sports or deep tissue massage can see to this.
Sports or deep tissue massages are amazing for easing pain and tension. I'm not just saying that because it's my job, honest.
Stay active. The more mobile you are, the less chance you have of seizing up and causing further damage. Keep walking, keep moving but know your limits and listen to your body.
If you don't already, exercise. If you have a long-term back problem, seek advice from a physio or sports therapist before you do but exercise keeps us strong, supple and our joints mobile. Even if it's just a 20 minute walk each day, it's all good.
If you push a pram with an adjustable handle, make sure it's not so low that you're stooping over.
So, there we have it. I hope that helps some of you and please feel free to comment if you have any questions. Good luck!