Try our 7 easy ways to improve your back
1 Try Yoga
Even if you’ve never been flexible, studies show yogic stretches can help improve back pain by loosening tight muscles, building strength and range of motion. Additionally, the focus on breathing with yoga helps you achieve deep relaxation which can trigger chemical changes that can help your perception of pain, easing discomfort. 2 Advice To Pick Up On
Consultant spinal Surgeon Amjad Shad advises lifting young grandchildren with care.
“I see a lot of patients who have hurt their backs after lifting up little ones. Always try to lower yourself to their height instead, even if it means going down on one knee – you’ll get your welcome kiss and hug without damaging your back.” 3 Pillow Talk
Sleep is supposed to be restful, but if you have a poor sleeping position it can aggravate a bad back. Try using an extra pillow at bedtime to find the perfect position. If you sleep on your back, tuck a pillow under your knees; stomach sleepers can place it under their pelvis, and those who sleep on their side can slip the pillow between the knees. 4 Hot And Cold
A cold pack (which you keep in the freezer) can help ease inflammation and swelling, but some people prefer to apply heat (in the form of a hot-water bottle or a heating pad you briefly warm through in the microwave), which can reduce tension, cramping and muscle spasms. Try alternating between the two to find what works best for you.
5 Rub It In
Experiment with different creams and gels to find one that best eases your pain. A pain-relieving gel (such as Voltarol Pain-eze Emulgel, £13.49) can penetrate areas where the skin is thin (over the spine, for instance), whereas a combination product (such as Glucosamine & Magnesium Gel from www. healthspan.co.uk, £14.95 for 150ml) can penetrate the skin to help reduce muscle spasm and pain intensity. 6 Roll With It
Tuck a small towel in your handbag. Long journeys, unfamiliar beds and sun-loungers can wreak havoc on your back when you are away from home, but a rolled-up hand towel could make all the difference. Physiotherapist Clare Lewey says, “Tuck it in the small of your back to give support and maintain the correct curvature of your spine.” 7 Keep Moving
Avoid staying in any one position (at your computer, in front of the TV or lying down) for longer than 20 to 30 minutes at a time. Even if your back hurts, keep moving, picking up the pace as the pain eases. Movement pumps blood into damaged tissues and helps build the supportive muscles that protect your spine.