Back pain and Neck Care
The spine is made up of 33 vertebrae, a system of interlocking pieces. The vertebra are separated by discs and held together by ligaments and muscles. The discs are shock absorbing pads between vertebrae which support and distribute the weight of your body. Ligaments bind the vertebrae together and give additional strength to the discs and joints of the back. Muscles produce and control movement of the spine. They provide strength and support to the back.
Back Injuries and Pain
Injuries can occur to discs, joints and ligaments, due to acute trauma, poor posture and the accumulation of physical stress on the spine. Problems can also occur as a result of arthritis, degenerating discs, muscle tension and muscle weakness.
Prevention of Back Injuries
It is possible to prevent back injuries occurring or becoming worse by adopting good habits in everyday life.
- Posture: Ensure posture is correct in all activities, stable, balanced and relaxed when sitting, walking or standing.
- Work: Avoid prolonged sitting or working in the same position. Change position and stretch from time to time. Ensure chair provides postural and lumbar support.
- Lifting: Load close to the body, feet well apart, bend knees more than back, lift with leg power.
- Sleeping: Mattress needs to be firm enough to support the body. Ensure pillow keeps head in line with the spine when lying on your back or side. When on your side pillow should be thick enough to fill the gap between the point of the shoulder and the ear to keep the neck straight.
- Weight: excess weight puts extra strain on your spine.
- Exercise: keep your spine and trunk muscles flexible and strong with correct back and abdominal muscle exercises.