By Simply Supplements
Back pain is a common problem in the UK. In fact, back problems are the second biggest cause of long-term sickness in this country. It is estimated that 80% of us will suffer from back pain during our lives.
A healthy human back has three natural curves, which can be maintained by practicing good posture. When back pain does strike, addressing factors such as your sleeping position and completing stretches can help. Some nutritional supplements may also be useful in alleviating back pain.
A good posture helps to maintain the natural curves of the back, while a poor stance can cause pain by stressing and pulling the back muscles.
Many of us sit down for long periods of time, particularly when working, and a poor posture can cause unnecessary back pain. Try to remember the best posture for sitting:
Try to take regular breaks when sitting, as this can help to improve circulation and relax muscles to prevent them from becoming stiff.
Posture is also important when standing. A good standing posture would involve:
The position in which you sleep is another factor that can have an impact on back health. Certain positions can cause or worsen back pain, although there are steps that can be taken to alleviate this discomfort.
The most common position for sleeping is on the side, with the legs bent. Although this may feel comfortable when drifting off, it can cause pain later in the night, or cause you to wake up feeling stiff. This is because sleeping in this way means that the upper leg is unsupported, which causes a rotation of the lower spine. To prevent this, try sleeping with a pillow between your legs, as this can help to ensure the spine is in the correct position.
For those who sleep on their backs, a pillow under the knees may help to maintain the curve of the lower back, while a pillow under the small of the back can also provide additional support.
Sleeping on your front is not recommended, due to the amount of pressure it places on the back. If this is the only way you can get to sleep, place a pillow under the pelvis and abdomen to reduce back strain.
Stretches for the back
Stretching can help to ease discomfort in the back, and may also help to reduce future instances of back pain by strengthening the muscles around the spine. If you suffer from back pain, incorporate some basic stretches such as arms swings and squats into your daily routine.
The UK charity BackCare has produced a handy leaflet that provides visual diagrams of some useful stretches for the back.
In addition to stretching, low impact exercises such as swimming and yoga can help to strengthen muscles without adding further strain on the back.
Supplements that may help
Alongside exercise, certain nutritional supplements may help to ease back pain.