Do's and don'ts for those suffering from back pain...and those who would like to avoid it.
- Pain is a warning sign. Do not ignore it or get trapped into thinking that it will go away.
- Sit on firm but cushioned chairs. Avoid soft chairs and deep couches and try to choose a chair with a back rest.
- Do not sit for prolonged periods since this can increase the pressure in the disc by up to six times, compared to lying down.
- Sleep on a good quality supportive mattress. Do not sleep on your stomach, but sleep on your side or back. When arising from bed, move to the side of the bed, roll onto your side and sit up as you swing your legs off the bed and push up with your arms.
- Try not to stay in bed for prolonged periods as continuous bed rest can lead to slower recovery. Move about frequently to maintain mobility.
- Do not cough or sneeze in a bent position.
- When standing for any length of time, place your foot on a small book or rail.
- When shopping it is often more painful to amble; move purposefully to your destination.
- Do not use heat in the early acute stage. Even tough heat may temporarily ease the discomfort, it may prolong recovery.
- When in pain, stop all sport, even swimming.
- Do not relay treatment. Early arthritic change can take place rapidly in an injured or immobilised joint.
*From British Chiropractic Association