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Tackling the dreaded back pain

21 June 2022

With an estimated 80% of people in the UK experiencing back pain at some point in their lives, it is quickly becoming one of the most common ailments that we face today.

The causes of back pain are wide-ranging and can be as diverse as serious and chronic issues that could require surgery, to the relatively minor problems relating to posture or working conditions.

Tackling your back pain can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle, especially if it’s a long-term condition, but that doesn’t mean it’s a non-starter. In fact, 90% of back pain can successfully be treated non-surgically, so it’s usually just a question of finding the exact cause and then addressing it directly.

How do I know what is causing my back problems?

Pinpointing the exact reason behind your sore back can at times be complicated and often requires some trial and error. It may be a case of making small changes here and there and seeing how your body reacts to it.

If your pain is severe, you should seek a medical opinion before making any major changes. It’s important to get a doctor’s or chiropractor’s opinion because your issues might be linked to very real bone or muscle problems that might require professional attention.

For the many who are suffering from a bad back but feel it’s not serious enough to warrant a visit to your local doctor, here are a few points to consider.

Are you moving enough and what kind of movement?

Humans are becoming increasingly sedentary and this is causing havoc on our backs. We spend an ever-increasing time slumped on a sofa or in chairs that fold our bodies into unnatural positions.

If you have a bad back, this might be a good place to start. Ask yourself how much physical activity you have done over the last week and if you think your step count falls below 10,000 a day (around 5 miles) you aren’t moving enough according to most medical guidelines.

But perhaps the complete opposite could be true and the activities you are doing are simply too vigorous or straining for your back. If you go from an office job to an agricultural one, your body will no doubt scream blue murder for a while before getting used to things. Be careful about repetitive movements, such as bending down to pick things up, as this almost certainly inflames the back muscles. Activities such as yoga and pilates are excellent for addressing back problems, but then again, so is simply making sure you get in that 5 miles a day.

How are you working?

Right behind our lack of movement on the devious list of back problem causes, is the fact that millions of us spend hours every day sitting in unnatural positions. This has unquestionably contributed heavily to the back pain pandemic and it’s only in the last few years that we have really begun to address it.

Ergonomically minded furniture won’t solve your back problems in an instant, but it can certainly help in the long run. FlexiSpot offers several active seating options, such as wobble stools, as well as office chairs that come with lumbar supports, neck rests, and specifically designed curvatures that give our poor old backs the best kind of support available.

But sitting is still sitting and according to numerous studies, it’s something we need to be doing a whole lot less. Standing desks are quickly becoming all the rage in offices as well as at home with many becoming converts. Standing at a desk instead of sitting certainly takes some getting used to, but give it a week or two and you’ll almost certainly see a difference.

How are you sleeping?

Considering that we spend roughly a third of our lives asleep, how we slumber, and on what, can have a huge bearing on our overall health. A few decades ago we thought very little about the type of mattress that we sleep on, but with our modern understanding, it’s often a key consideration.

Whether you sleep on your side, front or back can have various health ramifications and it’s a good idea to find a mattress that suits your needs and circumstances. One of FlexiSpot’s newest additions is the Adjustable Bed Base EB01, which comes with a headrest that can be raised and lowered from 0 to 60 degrees. This can be a huge help for anybody suffering from serious back problems and who might have issues getting in and out of bed.

You might understandably be a little wary about investing in a new bed or mattress if you aren’t entirely sure whether it will help or not, which is why most companies, including FlexiSpot, offer sleep trials for the products. These are usually for around a month which should be easily enough time to assess if it's the right product for you.

The Bottom Line

Back pain is a complex issue that often doesn't come with a quick and simple cure. Along with the reasons mentioned here, back pain can be exacerbated by a poor diet that includes too much trans fat, refined sugars, and processed foods as well as a general lifestyle.

Getting to the root cause often isn’t easy and usually takes some time and perseverance. It may be a case of spending several weeks or months experimenting with different physical activities, sleeping arrangements, and working conditions before you find the magic combination that begins to address the problem.

As we mentioned at the start of the article, 90% of back pain can be addressed with non-surgical means, so the chances are your issues are simply down to the reasons stated here and it’s merely a case of you needing to find the right system to suit you.