4 Habits to Reduce Your Back Pain

Back pain is one of the very common concerns we see in the clinic every single day. Whether you have sudden, acute pain, or a stiff back that’s always bothering you, there’s so many simple changes you can make, to ease your pain starting TODAY.

As you test out these suggestions, only trial one at a time, so you can understand how each change affects your body. Some things will help you feel better almost immediately, while others will take weeks to have an effect.

Pacing to prevent back pain: Do small amounts, often


Throughout your day, monitor how long you spend in each position, and start reducing the time in any position. See how your back responds to this over a week.

Do a little bit of walking, sitting and lying, and keep changing positions regularly (maximum 30 mins each position). If you’re currently really sore, keep this time to 5 minutes or less. It will stop you getting even more stiff and sore, and help to keep pain levels down.

This tip is most important when you’re in an acute flare up of your back pain. Your back is likely very sensitive during a flare up, so pain can increase easily. As you recover from an acute flare up, you’ll find you can start tolerating longer in each position, although be aware to keep moving!



Check your posture to reduce back pain



Is your bottom right back in the seat? Are you sitting up straight in a good, supportive chair?


**Remember Habit 1: Do small amounts, often – try to sit for maximum 5 minutes at a time. When you are in an acute flare up of your back pain, avoid sitting on the couch. We tend to slump more on soft couches, which can be very aggravating to your back injury



Stand up as tall as you can, with your tail bone gently tucking under, which will help your abdominal muscles to support your back



Improve your flexibility to reduce back pain

Stretch your gluteals (muscles around your bottom)

These muscles around your bottom are very important in walking, running and many movements we do throughout the day. When they become tight, it can limit movement through your lower back. Over time this can become problematic, and contribute to low back pain.


This can be done sitting on a chair, or lying down on your back will give you more support for a very irritable back.





Improve your core strength to reduce back pain


What is core strength?

This means your bodies ability to stabilise your spine when sitting or standing, and connect your trunk to your arms and legs for reaching, bending and lifting. Core strength relates to your bodies ability to do this effectively. When we move less, our muscles become less effective at doing this (ie ‘reduced core strength’).

“If we don’t use it, we lose it”

Many of us lose core strength over time when we have less active lifestyles. When we work on improving core strength, we focus on movements that involve muscles from your shoulder girdle, trunk, abdominals, spine muscles and hip muscles too. These all work together to keep us upright and moving well.

Building core strength takes time, but the benefits will impact on every part of your life. Normal day to day tasks will feel easier, and you’re setting yourself to live a longer, healthier life.

We recommend strength training two times per week, although we also see great benefits when clients attend our classes just once per week too.

Exercising under the supervision of a Physiotherapist means you’ll understand the technique better, and be less likely to aggravate your symptoms. Exercise should NOT increase your pain. You can read more about our Classes for Back Pain here


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4 Habits to Reduce Your Back Pain



What else can I do to help my back pain?


 Back pain can be very painful, and really make it hard to get through basic day to day activities. If you’re in a current flare up, try to stay positive, and make sure you seek professional help by booking in to a Physiotherapist.

Our approach to back pain includes 3 stages, so that we address underlying issues, and set you up for long term success. Read more about how we use Physiotherapy and exercise to overcome back pain here



4 Habits to Reduce Your Back Pain