Pain doesn’t start for no reason, there is always something behind it and as osteopaths it is our job to determine whether the cause is due to pathology or lifestyle.
In this article I would like to talk about some of the typical lifestyle issues that can cause back pain.
If you are experiencing pain in the back, neck or shoulders and even headaches think about any lifestyle changes you have made recently such as a new car or job and if you suspect this may be the cause try and address the issues or speak to occupational health at work. If you don’t have this option let us assess you and help to identify the issues.
One of the most common issues is just weakness of the muscles that support the lower back. So many of us are sedentary for long periods of time during the day and muscle mass reduces rapidly when it isn’t being used. These supporting muscles act as a belt for the lower back and without them the vertebrae are vulnerable to strains and injuries. Once muscle weakness has been determined as the main cause for your back pain your osteopath can give advice on the best exercises for your back.
Another common cause is using laptops, particularly on your lap! The ideal position is with the lap top on the desk with the screen raised to eye level and an additional keyboard plugged in at a lower level so the shoulders stay relaxed and the elbows are just over 90 degrees.
Hours spent leaning over phones/tablets or holding the phone between your ear and shoulder whilst doing chores is another avoidable cause of back and shoulder pain.
These are just a few of the bad habits most of us are guilty of doing. It must be stressed here that the level of pain described with these conditions is relatively mild and can usually be relieved by any or all of the following – changing position, heat, movement and stretching.
If you are experiencing more severe pain or regular night pain please seek advice from your doctor.
Jane Greenshields, Osteopath