The Lancet has published new research, which included chiropractors as contributing authors, shows movement and physical activity is the best treatment for backpain.

Research suggests that unfortunately almost everyone will have low back pain at some point in their lives. It can affect anyone at any age, and it is increasing with disability due to back pain  rising by more than 50% since 1990! The cause is not always clear. The cause is often not clear and treatment varies widely around the world, from bed rest, to surgery and the use of drugs such as opioids.

BCA President, Catherine Quinn, said “The British Chiropractic Association welcome the publication of the Lancet’s series on low back pain which suggests that in the West, we are over medicalising low back pain. With the global burden of low back pain forecast to increase in coming decades, ensuring that there are options available to patients who are experiencing this is paramount. Chiropractors provide the safe and effective hands on care which has been suggested within the first steps for the treatment of low back pain. This involves a package of care including education and advice to stay active, such as the Straighten Up UK exercises available for free from the BCA, spinal manipulation, massage and exercise therapy. Chiropractors are well positioned to provide this care.”

Lower back pain

If you experience lower back pain try our tips below to help reduce your pain or discomfort.

•    Breaks from Sitting: If you spend long periods of time sitting during your day make an effort to take regular breaks. Stand up and move around at least every 30 minutes.

•    Desk Set Up:   If you work at a computer then make sure your desk is set up to support a comfortable position. This is different for everyone so if you don’t feel comfortable in your current set up, try altering the height of your chair or screen.

•    Keep Acive: Physical activity can be beneficial for managing back pain, however it’s important that if this is of a moderate to high intensity that you warm up and down properly to get your body ready to move! If a previous injury is causing you pain, adapt your exercise or seek some advice. Activities such as swimming, walking or yoga can be less demanding on your body while keeping you mobile!

•    Lifting and carrying: Bend from the knees, not the waist when lifting heavy items. Face in the direction of movement, and take your time. Hold the object as close to your body as possible, and where you can avoid carrying objects which are too heavy to manage alone, ask for help or use the necessary equipment.

•   Sleep :  Everyone has different support requirements, so when purchasing your mattress ensure it is supportive for you. The Sleep Council recommends buying a new mattress at least every 7 years. Mattresses lose their support over time, so if you can feel the springs through your mattress, or the mattress is no longer level, your mattress is no longer providing the support you need.

•    Straighten Up!: The BCA has created a programme of 3-minute exercises, Straighten Up UK, which can be slotted in to your daily schedule to help prevent back pain by promoting movement, balance, strength and flexibility in the spine. Pop in for a leaflet or for more help and advice.