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Happy new year one and all!  2017 is finally here.  There’s no better time to focus on your wellbeing and form some healthy habits going forward.  Small changes here and there can make all the difference!  With that in mind, here are our top tips for helping you avoid back pain this year:

  1.  Take more exercise: any exercise that appeals to you or that you’ve enjoyed before is best as it helps you keep motivated.  Exercise keeps your muscles in good condition and is great for your circulation as well as stress-busting.
  2. Do a couple of gentle stretches before you get out of bed:  it’s common for back strains to happen first thing in the morning when your back isn’t feeling too limber.  Doing a couple of light stretches is a great way of waking your spine up.  Try simply hugging your knees in towards your chest for starters.
  3. Bend using your knees… not your back: it sounds boring and everyone knows this rule, but it makes a huge difference!  Most back injuries occur when lifting something with your back bent and twisted.
  4. Take breaks from your desk: sitting for long periods leads to your muscles switching off and getting tired from being in one position for too long.  Take the time to stand up and move around a bit every 45mins.
  5.  Make efforts to manage your stress:  Stress is a huge contributor to back pain.  When we’re stressed, our defences are lowered and our muscles can become overly tight and tired.  This can put you at higher risk of developing back pain.
  6. Check your mattress:  Over 10 years old?  Overly soft or aggressively firm?  If so, it might be time for an update.  We spend a third of our lives in bed so it’s worth the consideration!
  7.  Minimise smoking:  smoking is detrimental to the blood supply to various structures in the spine which can slow healing rates.