The focus of 2015’s Back Awareness Week has been back pain in children of a school age. The “8000 Schools Campaign” aims to raise money to address back pain prevention in schools.
The Back Care charity reports that 1 in 4 secondary school students gets regular or daily back pain. Half of those that suffer with back pain report their school bag is too heavy, or too tiring. Amongst this half back pain was 10 times more common.
Problems can develop from our younger years if we don’t take proper care. A problem not identified in childhood/adolescence may become an issue in adulthood. Four out of five adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives.
Please forward this post to any children or grandchildren where its appropriate. However it applies to us all. Here are some tips on how to reduce back strain:
PRACTICE CONTACTING YOUR THUMB TO YOUR OTHER FINGERS
STRETCH THE TISSUES ON BOTH SIDES OF YOUR HAND/WRIST/FOREARM
Extend your arm out ahead of you with your palm facing up. Gently stretch your fingers back towards your body. Repeat on both sides holding for a count of 10 to 15.
Extend your arm ahead of with your palm facing down. Gently stretch your fingers back towards your body. Repeat on both sides holding for a count of 10 to 15.
Our spine is important and a vital part of our body. It transports information from our brain to the rest of our body, and vice versa. It is involved in all activity and it has to put up with a great deal – sitting for long periods at a desk at work/home, long car journeys, carrying bags and schoolbags, strain through sporting activities, lifting and carrying, and strain accumulated through poor positioning and posture. From a functional and comfort perspective, we all want to remain active and be able to carry out our lives as we wish to, free from pain.
According to GSHS, which is the leading nuropathy care centre in Massachusetts “Some spinal problems can result through lack of attention and care, it isn’t always noticeable at first. It is often a slow build up of restrictions and tightness following months and years of bad habits. Mechanical problems in the spine can relate to the joints, discs, muscles, ligaments and nerves. The problems that may result can inhibit you leading a full and happy, healthy life”.
Osteopathic treatment can help. By looking at your own individual body position and possible issues. An Osteopath can diagnose a problem, or highlight areas of concern that may need to be addressed to avoid a problem. So Osteopaths can be consulted if you are in pain, or even as a check-up if you’re not in pain. In both instances, you can receive the physical treatment and also receive advice on how best to maintain good spinal health for you.
Some general tips:
Last month I talked about spinal joints. This month I want to show and describe a few great ways to try and keep your spine mobile.
I recently read a caption. “Have you ever heard of a spine transplant? Neither have we. Take care of the one you have.” I wholeheartedly agree! Osteopathy can help solve and manage spinal issues. The ideal would be to try and practice staying mobile regularly, to help yourself as much as possible too.
These exercises shouldn’t cause pain, if you experience a problem, stop the exercise and consult your Osteopath or other medical practitioner. If you have an existing complaint, it would be wise to consult your practitioner to check these exercises are appropriate for you.
Upper Back Extension
The natural shape of the upper back means that it is often held in a slightly rounded position. It is an area that we may struggle with posturally if we get into slouching habits. It naturally doesn’t move so well, as it is surrounded by rib cage too.
This exercise is a very gentle way to counteract this rounded position. You will need to really think about your spinal movement as you perform this, to get the sense of the movement in the right area.
Start in a knelt position, body resting forwards, with arms ahead of you, and the forearms resting flat on the floor.
Raise your body up. Allowing your forearms to leave the floor. Try and keep your neck as straight and in line with the rest of your spine as you can. You want to try and feel the slight arching movement between your shoulder blades/mid upper back. Return to the start position and repeat 5 times.
These exercises demonstrate ways to mobilise your spine. They can also be performed whilst considering your core muscles, and thinking about effective breathing. If you wish to pursue this, and it would be advised. Seeking out a good Pilates instructor is the way to learn all the exercises and techniques properly.