3 Habits Adding to your Back Pain

Have you had back pain before? Does it keep coming back when you least expect it?



 Back pain is FRUSTRATING, and really gets in the way of so many things. It interrupts work, puts you off exercising and can even ruin your sleep!



We often treat lower and upper back pain in the clinic. We’d love to help you beat your back pain by sharing some of our knowledge, or booking in for a Physiotherapy appointment so we can support your recovery.

Here’s the three most common habits we seeing that hold back progress when recovering from a back injury.



If you’re ready overcome your back pain, watch out for these 3 habits adding to your back pain




Habit 1: You stay in one position for too long


We all have different physical demands in our day, and you get good at whatever you do regularly, but if you do a lot of something again and again, the structures holding you up (primarily muscles) will start getting tired, and as you start to slump, slouch or rest your elbow on the desk, you start hanging off your ligaments and joints. In the short term this tends to be ok, but over time, those structures can start getting irritated, as they take more of the load.



  • e.g. an accountant who sits all week, gets very good at sitting, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing for their body
  • e.g. a hairdresser who stands all week, gets very good at standing, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing for their body
  • e.g. a bricklayer who hunches over all week ….. you get the idea 



How to kick the habit

Whatever your work/life demands, try to keep moving in a variety of different positions throughout your day. Make sure you change positions every 15 minutes, and ‘reverse your posture’ to stretch, so if you hunch over to do your work, stand up and arch in the opposite direction. If you reach up overhead a lot (e.g. electrician), reach down to ‘balance out’ your movements.




3 Habits Adding to your Back Pain



Habit 2: You’re not moving enough in your day



Many of us sit too long and don’t move enough every single day. Over time this really adds up, and we lose fitness, agility, balance and strength. The spine is a very strong, resilient structure, but it does need to be supported by strong, balanced, healthy muscles and joints.



Do you exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week? If not, that could be a part of your ongoing back problem.



How to kick the habit

To get started, walk for 10 minutes, 3 times a day. As you build fitness over a few weeks, you can progress to 15 minutes twice/day, then a 30 minute walk until you can comfortably walk for an hour.





Habit 3: Your day doesn’t include enough VARIETY of movement


Our bodies are designed to move, as we reach, lean, bend and twist in normal day to day activities. With the help of comfy seats and very clever technology, our bodies do a lot less of this reaching, leaning, bending and twisting, leaving us stiff and tight, and more at risk of ‘overdoing it’.


How to kick the habit

If you don’t use it, you lose it, so to maintain (or regain) flexibility, it’s safest to start small, with gentle stretches twice a day. I recommend stretching the main muscles of your legs and arms, then a gentle stretch for your spine. If you don’t know how to do this, start with the following exercises twice per day:


  • Standing: March on the spot lifting your knees high x10
  • Standing: Lift your heels to your bottom x10
  • Standing: Swing your arms gently forwards/back x10
  • Sitting: Hunch your spine gently, then sit up as tall as you can x10 (posture reversals)



Disclaimer: Every back injury is different, so please seek individual, professional advice to manage your body.


How can Physiotherapy help back pain?

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