Some ideas and solutions for your back problems


Solutions to your back problems


Most of the causes we covered last week were related to desk work and to prolonged sitting.
However the tips and ways to deal with it apply to a variety of work – you could be a care worker and a lot on your feet or work on a building site where heavy lifting might be hurting your back.

Generally speaking even to prevent and protect yourself you should be doing this:

  • Do back-strengthening and stretching exercises at least 2 or 3 times a week.
  • Stand and sit up straight.
  • If you have to do heavy lifting, know how to do it correctly. If you do lift something heavy, bend your knees and keep your back straight. …
  • Get active and eat a balanced diet

If you already have acute back pain you must seek your GP for advice. PTs are no doctors and none of the following information is going to help you with severe back injury.


Back stretches for the win

Simple back stretches can often prevent or help reduce back pain. These can be carried out at home or some at work as often as you need to.


Standing back arch

  1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Put the palms of your hands on your lower back. Take a few slow, deep breaths to relax.
  3. Bend your upper body backwards, keeping your knees straight. Support your back with your hands. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Return slowly to your starting position.
  5. Repeat 5 times.


Knee-to-chest stretch

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your legs extended.
  2. Lift and bend your right leg, bringing the knee toward your chest. Grasp your knee or shin with your right hand, and pull your leg as far as it will comfortably go.
  3. Remain in the knee-to-chest position while tightening your abdominal muscles and pressing your spine into the floor. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Return slowly to your starting position.
  5. Do the same with your left leg.
  6. Do the same with both legs at once.
  7. Repeat the sequence 5 times.


On all fours — back flexion and extension

  1. Begin on your hands and knees on the floor. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders with your arms straight.
  2. Rock forward, putting your weight onto your arms. Round your shoulders, and let your seat drop a little. Hold for 5 seconds.
  3. Rock backward, sitting your buttocks as close to your heels as possible. Keep your arms extended straight ahead. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Return slowly to your starting position.
  5. Repeat 5 times.

Back to the desk

No pun intended but how should we actually sit ideally at a desk?

By law, workstation chairs must be stable. The standard office chair has five legs in a star shape.
The seat height must be adjustable, and the back rest must be adjustable in height and tilt.
Ideally, the back rest should move independently of the seat to allow a comfortable position.

When you’re sitting, your thighs should be at right angles to your body or sloping slightly down.
If your chair is properly adjusted, your feet should be firmly on the floor, but use a footrest if it’s more comfortable. The basic rule is to plant your feet on the floor and support your back.

Your screen (if working on a computer) should have the upper edge roughly aligned with the height of your eyes.