We’re quickly creeping towards winter with November being the last full month of autumn - can you believe it?! – and although there is no proven link between back pain and changes in the weather, back pain is something which many people find troubling them as the colder weather sets in. For this reason, we are addressing some of the main causes of back pain… as well as some solutions to help minimise pain!
Cause: Posture at work
Many people spend the majority of their day sitting at a desk - it’s a requisite for most office jobs, but while the hours are ticking by as you fill in spreadsheets or make your way through your emails, your posture can often take a hit. Slumping in your chair, poor keyboard positioning or screens at the wrong height can all be to blame.
Solution: Rethink your desk space
The good news is, there are a few things you can do to get your desk to work with you rather than against you. Start with your chair. Using a chair with good lumbar support and the facility to adjust the height and angle will help to prevent you from slumping in your chair and keep you upright. Additionally, setting your screen at eye level and directly in front of you is also helpful for your posture as alternative positioning can cause strain on your neck. Finally, place your keyboard between 4 and 6 inches from the edge of your desk to prevent you from leaning too far forwards or backwards. Now you’re all set for a comfortable day at your desk!
Cause: Bad Habits
It can be tempting to slip into poor diet and lifestyle habits, especially as the colder weather makes venturing out for a walk, run or even a trip to the supermarket feel unappealing. However, by letting unhealthy food and a sedentary lifestyle take over, it can allow the aches and pains to sneak in as you neglect your recommended vitamins and stop maintaining your muscles.
Solution: Revamp your diet and lifestyle
Strive for a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle by following some simple, well-known tips such as; incorporating the recommended 5 fruits and vegetables a day into your diet as well as sticking to sensible portion sizes for meals – something many of us are guilty of! In addition to this, integrating regular exercise into your schedule is a great way to build stamina and strength to help and prevent back pain - and there are plenty of indoor activities you can do to avoid the cold weather. Using a back brace or support can also help to support you while you exercise.
Cause: Sleeping position
Your back pain may be caused by a bad sleeping position. Sleeping on an old mattress (8+ years) which has lost its original support and comfort or a mattress with the wrong rigidity for your back, can result in your spine curving in an unhealthy way and therefore cause back pain.
Solution: Choose the right mattress
You may be able to reduce or prevent your back pain by making sure your mattress is suitable to support your spine. While some people benefit from a softer mattress, others may need a firmer one. Don’t compromise on comfort, however; dual mattresses exist too, so even if your partner likes a firmer mattress, for example, you can still choose one with a bit more bounce!
While it is not recommended to sleep in a supportive brace, wearing a postural support during the day can also have a similar result, with many supports providing the option of flexible or firm stays. The aim is to support the natural curve of your spine, so pay a visit to your physiotherapist for advice on which supports and mattresses would likely suit your back.
Although there are varying degrees of back pain and many more causes and solutions than the ones mentioned above, this article may just provide a solution you hadn’t yet considered and put you on your way to reducing and preventing back pain!
(Remember to always consult your doctor and physiotherapist regarding back pain.)
Want to know more? Read below for an introduction to some of our products that could help you achieve your goals!
Our VCS range offers varying levels of support from mild to moderate to firm to provide optimum protection and stability. As a one size solution, these supports are fully adjustable to allow for a custom fit. In addition to this, the heat therapeutic neoprene helps to warm muscles and joints during exercise and rehabilitation, making the VCS range perfect for supporting instability during weights and gym training, as well as helping strains, sprains and weak, arthritic joints.
For support in everyday activities, the Airflow and Airflow+ ranges offer lightweight, slimline supports that protect and reduce impact on joints and muscles. Perfect for taking a walk, playing sport or support with day to day strain.
If its rest and recovery you need, our hot and cold therapy range offers just that. While the heat therapy helps to target muscle and joint pain by relaxing muscles and improving blood flow, cold therapy works to tackle muscle swelling, soothing aches and pains.
Read more in our full Hot & Cold Therapy post.