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Back Pain in the UK – The statistics

The majority of people will suffer with back pain at some point in their lives with most not knowing the primary reason for the pain. To understand more about back pain and to highlight Back Care Awareness Week, we bring you some stats on back pain and treatment.

Back pain statistics in the UK –

    • The condition affects people in all age groups but the over-50s are worst hit
    • Almost 10 million Britons suffer pain almost daily resulting in a major impact on their quality of life and more days off work
    • Up to 28 million Britons are living with chronic pain, new estimates suggest
    • Around 5.6 million working days in the UK are lost each year due to back pain, second only to stress,
    • Around 4.2 million working days were lost by workers aged 50-64 alone in 2014
    • Health experts say chronic back pain is made worse by our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, with the average Briton spending almost four hours a day at a computer

How can we prevent back pain?

As back pain is so common it can be very hard to prevent in most cases but there are ways in which you can reduce the risks of developing back pain.

Sleeping position
If you are sleeping incorrectly this can cause back pain. The best sleeping positions to reduce back pain are:

    • Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs
    • If your favourite position is sleeping on your stomach (which is very bad for your back) then sleep with a pillow under your stomach
    • If sleeping on your back is more comfortable for you then sleep in a reclined position, the angle helps to reduce pressure on your spine

Exercise
There are lots of different exercises to help prevent back pain or ease back pain. We have suggested a few below.

    • Yoga – Researchers found yoga had some benefit for people with lower back pain compared with people who did no exercise for their back
    • Swimming – It gives you an all-round workout, stretching and exercising all of your muscles, without overdoing any particular muscle group
    • Pilates – Pilates works on your core muscles researchers believe that by stabilizing the core’s lumbar-pelvic (lower-back) region, Pilates alleviates stress on the area and ups mobility.

If you choose to exercise to help with back pain make sure that you exercise correctly. Warm up before you exercise and avoid exercises that can aggravate back pain such as lifting heavy weights and sit-ups.

Back care at work

Most people of a working age spend most of their time at work, how we are at work can have a major impact on our lives. If we are stressed at work and you hold stress in your body, it can affect your back. You may begin to tense your back muscles, which can trigger low back pain or make it worse.
Slouching at our desk and constantly working at the computer can cause poor posture and this poor posture places on your spine can lead to anatomical changes in your spine. This in turn can provoke back pain through the constriction of your blood vessels and nerves. In addition, the stress from poor posture can lead to back pain by causing problems with your muscles, discs, and joints.
It’s important that you take the necessary steps to make sure that you sit comfortably at work and take breaks from your desk every hour.

How can our treatments help with Back Pain?

We have various complementary treatments available at the clinic that can help with back pain.

Osteopathy – As you are already aware Back pain can be brought on by lifting, moving awkwardly or by an accident. Sometimes it can come on without any specific injury to your back. Stress, depression, posture from sitting for long periods of time at work can also attribute to back pain. Using the many and varied manual techniques, which are often very gentle and also can include spinal manipulation, patients of all ages can benefit from osteopathic treatment to help with back pain.

Acupuncture – With Traditional acupuncture the root of the condition is addressed as well as the symptoms, this usually results in more long term benefits rather than just a quick fix.
Acupuncture provides pain relief, reduces inflammation and improves muscle stiffness and joint mobility.

Massage – We offer a variety of massage techniques that can help with back pain. Massage therapy can provide substantial healing and pain relief for people suffering from low back pain caused by muscle tension and strain, if the correct muscles are targeted. They types of massage therapy we offer here at the clinic is Sports Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Holistic Massage.

For more information on back pain, back care or any of our treatments, please do not hesitate to contact us.