Healthy Blog

7 simple ways to relieve back pain

Monday, May 02, 2016

How to stop back pain

Back Pain Freedom: it’s easier than you think

Are you one of the 3 million* Australian’s experiencing back pain?

Back pain can stem from everyday activities such as sitting at a computer, repetitive movements, injury or excessive lifting. The majority of aches and pains are caused by sprains, which are damage to the ligaments where your vertebrae connect to joints or strains caused by injured tendons or muscles.

You don't have to deal with consistent pain. Here are 7 simple ways to relieve back pain.

  1. Keep moving
    Avoid laying in bed or sitting down for long periods of time, especially if you’re experiencing lower back pain. Instead of relieving your back pain it can actually make it worse and prolong the healing process.

    Short term fix: Regularly move around, set your alarm as a reminder if you need to.
    Long term fix: Assess your activity level and the type of exercise you do. Consider adding yoga to your exercise schedule for it’s low impact and strengthening qualities.

  2. Use a foam roller
    If you experience back pain after exercising, foam rolling will relieve aches and help to prevent injury. Our youtube channel demonstrates how you can use a foam roller to help common complaints.

    Short term fix: Before you exercise warm up and stretch,if you have a foam roller and have been shown the correct technique - use it.
    Long term fix: If you don’t have a foam roller or know how to use one correctly - speak to your personal trainer or a qualified Physiotherapist.

  3. Correct your posture
    Having the correct posture is critical to reducing back pain. When you are in the correct posture all the parts of your body are balanced and supported, eliminating unwanted strain and pressure.

    Short term: Are you slouching as you read this? Take notice of your posture. 
    Long term: Work with a physiotherapist who can assess your posture and give you specific exercises to improve this.



  4. Assess your footwear
    Are you wearing flip flops, high heels, stilettos or ill-fitting shoes? A poor choice of footwear doesn’t just effect your feet but also your knees, hips and back. Footwear should have a good arch, offer heel support, shock support and fit correctly.

    Short term fix: Avoid high heels and flip flops while you are experiencing pain.
    Long term fix: Alternate your footwear regularly and assess the supportive qualities of new shoes.

  5. Lighten your load
    Whether it’s a handbag, backpack or shopping bag remove all unnecessary weight and avoid lifting and carrying heavy items until your pain has improved.

    Short term fix: Remove all unnecessary items and alternate the side you use to carry bags.
    Long term fix: Consider using a correctly fitted backpack with waist straps. This will distribute the weight evenly on your hips rather that placing pressure on your back or shoulders.

  6. Improve your sleep position
    Place an extra pillow between your knees if you sleep on your side, or under your knees if you sleep on your back to support your spine.

    Short term: Avoid sleeping on your stomach and take care getting in and out of bed.
    Long term: Assess your mattress, is it supporting your body?

  7. Massage
    Massage works through tight muscles and realigns the body. A licensed massage therapist can effectively target localised pain.

    Short term: Book in for a massage.
    Long term: Regularly schedule a massage. Prevention is always better than cure and it will also reduce stress which can exacerbate pain in your body.

For specific exercises that can help to relieve back pain download our free ebook ‘Back Pain Freedom, in 5 minutes or less’. 

*Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2011–12 National Health Survey (NHS).