You And Your Back Pain
10 Tips for Avoiding Back Pain
Many people who start off with underlying back weakness go through repeated bouts of back pain. This is usually because of a combination of poor posture and the excessive stresses they place on their back.
We know different positions and loads affect our back and can lead to back problems but we can teach ourselves how to minimise those stresses.
How we sit and stand is extremely important and it can really affect our ability to cope with back pain.
My Top 10 Tips for Avoiding Back Pain
- Standing upright with head facing forward, keeping our back straight and avoiding slouching goes a long way towards minimising back problems.
- At work if you're working at a bench ensure it is high enough for you to stand with a comfortable working posture and more importantly you can stand upright.
- If working at a desk, it should be of adequate height with plenty of leg space so you are close enough to sit upright and work comfortably. There should also be enough room beneath the work surface so you can get close enough to your work without having to bend forward and allowing plenty of room for your legs and feet.
- Try to move about as much as possible, as sitting in one position for long periods of time can cause aching, stiffness and back pain. If sitting at a desk for long periods of time, invest in a good chair which has good lumber support and assists you in sitting upright.
- Avoid soft squishy armchairs, they may look comfortable and inviting, but in reality they are not. They hold your back in a rounded position with no support which can after a short period of time cause severe back pain, aching and stiffness.
- Check your shoes; women who suffer back pain should never wear high heels as they tip the lower part of their body forward. They then arch the upper part of their body to compensate which adds stress to their back. Cushioned soles and heels or shock absorbing insoles are good as they reduce the shock to the spine when walking or running.
- Driving your car can be a real pain in the back especially if you drive for long periods of time. Seats are very often poorly designed and don't hold the spine in a natural position. Some sports cars for instance are super to look at, but a real pain to drive.
- Learn to lift properly. Many back problems develop over a period of time and are due to incorrect lifting techniques. They frequently arise when lifting loads is combined with bending forwards and twisting the spine.
- Keep as fit as you can. Many cases of back pain are caused by the unhealthy lifestyles led by many people. Try walking or swimming, take a class in Pilates (Excellent for strengthening your back). Making a determined effort to improve your fitness levels can work wonders for your health and reduce your back pain.
Kim Standerline is a Registered Nurse and Back Care Advisor living and working in the UK. Please visit http://www.nursing-hints.com/ and http://www.backpain-free.com/ for further information Please feel free to use this article on your website or ezine, but ensure this resource box is left intact
Coping Strategies For Back Pain
Coping Strategies For Back Pain
One coping strategy becoming more recognised by the medical profession in Back Pain Sufferers are Relaxation Techniques
The importance of relaxation in controlling and treating disease as well as back pain is now starting to be recognized by the general public as well as the medical profession though to be
honest the public don't always understand its effectiveness.
Relaxation techniques, especially if they involve meditation, has often been seen as "mumbo jumbo" However within recent years scientists and doctors have discovered immense benefits to meditation in the relief of pain and illness.
Relaxation techniques have a definite place in the healing process of the body, With certain types of back pain the importance of relaxation is increased, since stress and emotional disposition plays a large part in a sufferers life due to their constant pain.
Prayer is a form of relaxation and meditation that works wonders for some people if they have faith. Allowing a minister or someone else to lead you in prayer or formulating your own
inspirational prayer can assist you in calling upon the comfort of your God as you see him taking your pain away. Again mental and physical benefits are realized from such a practice.
Hypnosis as another option you can consider. Hypnosis is guided meditation allowing you to access the power of your subconscious mind with the assistance of a qualified hypnotist. The hypnotist can be a qualified psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, or social worker.
Hypnosis for pain management is nothing more than an assisted guided imagery. The only difference here to the relaxation techniques described above is you have someone to help you through the steps of relaxation and meditation on your image.
Relaxation is especially effective for those suffering from fibromyalgia, because this condition is caused by a number of non-physical triggers. Fibromyalgia largely comes from stress, lack of proper sleep, depression, and other emotional duress, and doesn't involve degeneration of the bones or joints. With this in mind, it's easy to see why relaxation techniques help alleviate
fibromyalgia so well.
Yoga is very beneficial both for flexibility as well as relaxation. Forms of yoga such as Bhakta are devotional, and Raja is meditation-oriented. They can provide a great deal of healing toward all types of back pain. but specifically fibromyalgia because of the emotional causes of fibromyalgia .
Kim Standerline is a Registered Nurse and Back Care Advisor living and working in the UK. Please visit http://www.nursing-hints.com/
for further information Please feel free to use this article on your website or ezine, but ensure this resource box is left intact
Learning How to Prevent Back Injury
Learning How to Prevent Back Injury
Preventing an injury to your back is much easier than repairing one. Your back is so significantly important to your ability to walk, sit, stand, and run; it's scary so many people abuse it. It’s important to take good care of your back, so learning a few fundamental rules about lifting, your posture and proper exercise can help keep your back in good shape.
Do You Exercise to Strengthen Your Back and reduce Stress?
If your back muscles are in good condition, you're halfway there. Strong back and stomach muscles eases the amount of work you put your back is put through each day. So by doing simple back-toning exercises, you not only strengthen your back but also reduce stress and improve your appearance. (Please check with your health care provider before you attempt any kind of exercise programme if you have existing problems).
Lose Your Excess weight
Protruding Tums and excess weight means extra force on your back and stomach muscles. If your back is trying to support excess weight, by extending backwards, it causes excess strain on your lower back muscles. If you are overweight you will reduce strain and pain in your back by losing a few pounds.
Maintain a Good Posture
Many back pain problems can be prevented by learning to sit, stand and lift items correctly. When you sit down, are you slouching? Slouching makes the ligaments in your back not your muscles, stretch and hurt; this then puts pressure on your vertebrae. Try and sit straight, with your back against the back of a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your knees slightly higher than your hips. Stand tall with your head up and shoulders back.
Maintaining a Good Posture Whilst You Sleep
Don’t sleep on an orthopaedic mattress (They are too hard), sleep on a firm mattress it’s much more comfortable. Ensure your mattress is not too soft as it could cause back sprain or a sway back. Sleep on your side with your knees bent or on your back with a pillow under your knees for support.
Maintaining a Good Posture Whilst You Drive.
Drive with your back straight up against the seat and close enough to the wheel so your knees are bent and slightly higher than your hips. Ensure the back of your seat is in the upright position and not leaning backwards. Your buttocks
Planning a Lift
Lifting objects can be a mindless task especially if done monotonously as part of your job. Unfortunately most people lift incorrectly which can result in strain and injury on their back and surrounding muscles. To lift correctly and reduce strain on your back, you should plan your lift in advance. How heavy is the object and how far is the distance you will be moving it. Is it bulky or oddly shaped, will you need help? Are there hazards which should be eliminated? If you think about these problems before you start lifting heavy objects, you will run less risk of injury.
Have You Positioned Yourself Correctly in Front of the Load?
Once your lift is planned, you should align yourself correctly in front of the load with a leg on each side of it one foot slightly in front of the other for balance. Squat down by bending your knees, not your back and stomach. Use both hands to firmly grab the load and bring it close to your body.. This helps distribute the weight of the load over your feet and makes the move easier.
Are You Lifting With Your Legs or Your Back?
Once the load is close to your body, gradually straighten your legs until you are standing erect. Make sure the weight isn't blocking your vision as you walk towards your destination. If you need to turn to the side, ensure you turn by moving your feet around and not twisting your stomach.
Setting Down the Load Correctly
It's important you set the load down correctly. Reversing the above lifting procedures ensures you reduce any strain on your back and stomach muscles. When setting your load on the floor, squat down by bending your knees and place the load in front of you. If you set it down at table height, do it slowly maintaining contact with it until you are certain it is secure and won’t fall when you leave.
Do You Need Assistance?
If the load is to weighty, awkward or bulky for you to lift by yourself, find someone to help you. If no one is available, try and break it into smaller loads? Or, locate a trolly to help you move it? Looking for simple solutions to help make the movement of heavy loads makes life a lot easier for you and your back
Does Your Back Hurt
I've not sent out a newsletter for absolutely months. no excuses
except that I've been really busy at work, also with my online
business and of course my grandson Adam who is now 10 months old
and sporting four teeth. (He's absolutely super, and yes I love
being a granny)...
Anyway, one of my goals is to send the newsletter out on a weekly
to fortnightly basis. I will also be posting it on my back care
blog here http://musingsofamadnurse.blogspot.com/ and in the
newsletter archives at www.backbuddies.com. so watch your inbox
for future articles.
I'm going to look at it in two parts, part 2 will be available in
the next edition.
Acute Back Pain
A sudden attack of back pain can be debilitating, however don't
panic because it doesn't necessarily mean you are always going to
suffer with a bad back especially if you take the proper
Usually when you damage a muscle in your back, the surrounding
muscles sense the injury and go into spasm to try and protect the
injured area. Believe it or not, it's often the spasm of these
muscles that cause more pain than the actual injury.
So how can you ensure you return your back to as good a condition
as possible once you have hurt it...
Well first, you have to look at the causes...
Sounds a bit basic doesn't it? but to be truthful, long term
problems such as poor posture or weakness of your abdominal
muscles etc can have far reaching effects which if not sorted
right from the start will only serve to ensure you develop a long
term back problem.
Degenerative conditions such as such as osteoarthritis or
osteoporosis can also cause acute back problems if left
untreated, so it's important any pain if it doesn't resolve
within a few days is treated by your health care practitioner.
Mechanical causes of pain
An attack of back pain can often be triggered by a movement that
seems relatively minor at the time. You may have bent over to
pick a tissue from the floor, twisted to put your shopping away
or even just sneezed...
What has probably happened is you damaged the area in question a
day or so earlier, did you indulge in any strenuous exercise? It
may even be done to something called cumulative stress which is
stress and damage building up over a period of time. (It can be
weeks months or even years)...
Your muscles either become so stiff and aching, or they relax to
such an extent they no longer support the spine correctly. Your
system becomes destabilised, with the result that seemingly
harmless movements prove to be the last straw resulting in pulled
ligaments, muscular spasms slipped disc or inflammation of the
There are lots of ways you can damage your back, but some of the
more common include incorrect lifting techniques and/or excessive
or unaccustomed exercise.
How many times do you bend/stoop in your daily activities? Think
- Lifting that toddler from the floor...How did you bend
- Carrying that heavy box...How far was the journey and how
did you pick it up...
- How do you put your washing in and out of the washer/tumble
drier, do you kneel, squat, or do you stoop?
Most of us do it wrong, no wonder so many of us suffer from Back
Excessive and unaccustomed exercise
Strenuous exercise especially if involving twisting as in squash
and dancing can be a common cause of back pain. If the form of
exercise you are participating in involves the muscles only
moving in one direction, i.e. bending forward or flexion, the
opposite muscles those extending the spine (Stretching it) become
weak and over stretched. They may be unable to contract more than
the upright mid position. You'll end up with your muscles and
ligaments not being strong enough to withstand the increased
pressures when a twisting movement is made.
Sounds nasty doesn't it?
I'm going to leave it there for this week. Next week, I want to
look at emergency first aide for back problems
Don't forget our forum at
We haven't really got going with it yet (I've archived the old
posts), I would like people to start posting. Remember it's there
for you to use.
This is your newsletter,
If you want to share any hints or tips on how to beat back pain,
keep them coming. If you want to write an article for Back
Buddies, lets have it.
You may have some hints and tips that will help other people beat
their pain, so please share them.
Please forward this newsletter onto someone who you feel may
benefit, or better still. get them to sign up at
There's a product I would also like to recommend this week. Its a
video full of very useful information
if you have back problems. Apparently it has had a lot of very
Check it out here...
Don't forget, visit us at the forum even if it's just to say hi.
I also love hearing from everyone
A physician passed away and was being screened for the
destination of his soul's eternal afterlife. Unfortunately, he'd
been a bit of a lout, a quack, and greedy to boot, so he wasn't
quite certain what to expect. Upon arriving at the Pearly Gates,
Saint Peter greeted him, and informed the Doctor that he would be
allowed to choose from one of the doors before him, but that
because of his greed and misdeeds he may find the choices rather
hellish. Upon opening door #1, he witnessed fire and brimstone of
truly Biblical proportions, a horrifying sight, and quickly
closed it. Upon viewing the spectacle behind door #2, he was even
more horrified to observe various tortured souls ravaged by
plague, disease and other maladies too terrible to mention, while
an evil guard stood watch. With trepidation he opened Door #3 to
discover groups of white-coated male physicians, being waited on
hand and foot by beautiful young women dressed in little more
than nursing caps! He rushed excitedly back to saint Peter and
proclaimed, I'll take door #3!" Oh, no, I'm afraid that's not
possible," exclaimed Saint Peter. That's NURSE'S Hell!"
10 Reasons Why You Have Back Pain
Did you know that four out of five of us will get back pain at some point in our life,
Back pain is one of the most common reasons why we take time off work, it costs not only for your boss in lost time at work, but for many of you out there, your livelihood is also at risk. What's going to happen to you and your family if you go off sick from work and you're the main bread winner?
In the Uk last year Back Pain cost the NHS £15 million which equates to 24.713952 USD(Did I get enough noughts in there?)
Goodness knows what the statistics are in America but they must be horrific.
Many people have to retire prematurely because of their back problems, this leads to loss of income, depression and lots of other problems which if you suffer, you probably know too well.
Many of us also fall into the trap of thinking that back problems are a natural part of aging, i.e we get older, we get back problems. This shouldn't necesarily be true.
What we often fail to understand, is, it's how we actually treat our back throughout our younger to middling years that dictates how healthy it is when we get older.
Sorry guys, but women are actually more likely than you are to get pain in their backs. (So we're not really whinging honest)
Women tend to do more twisting, lifting and bending within their day than men do. This repeatedly causes a strain on their back. If you think about the types of tasks women traditionally do, they include housework, childcare, using computers, working as carers, and working at checkout tills.
Hey before you guys have a moan and tell me that you do all that stuff as well, remember I said traditionally.
Other problems for women that men don't suffer from (Well not most anyway) is a large bust tipping them forward, A habit of wearing high heels and tight skirts...well lets face it ladies, we have a recipe for injury here.
10 Reasons Why You Have Back Pain
1. Rounding your shoulders when you're walking
2. Slumping when you're sitting down
3. Not taking any exercise
4. Wearing high heels constantly
5. Not bending your knees when your picking up off the floor
6. Ignoring your pain (It's there for a reason)
7. Your workstation being too low
8. Sitting at your desk or in your car for long periods
9. Sleeping on old uncomfortable beds
10.Masking your pain with pain killers instead of tackling the cause.
Remember this is your newsletter,
If you want to share any hints or tips on how to beat back pain, keep them coming. If you want to write an article for BackBuddies, email it to me,
I don't want to use old worn out articles for this page, I think you deserve fresh up to date information.
Remember, you may have some hints and tips that will help other people beat their pain, so please share them.
Patient: Tell me, doctor. Is it serious?
Doctor: Well, I wouldn't advise you to start watching any serials on TV
(Well I thought it was funny!)
Kim Standerline is a Registered Nurse working as a Back Care Advisor for a large hospital trust in the UK.
She can be found at www.nursing-hints.com/www.backpain-free.com/www.newbie-network.com
You may use any articles for your website or newsletter as long as this resource box is left intact
Questions to ask your doctor (and why)
Q...What is the cause of my pain...
Because chronic long term pain is not normal there is always a reason for it, and until the reason is clearly identified, how can anyone say that no further treatment is available? (Don't be fobbed off),
Q...How long shall I give the current treatment to work...
Some treatments may take days or weeks to obtain a full effect. Make sure before you leave you have established how long it will be before you can reasonably expect to obtain results. Also ask him in what circumstances you should contact him beforehand.
Q...What other tests and investigations are available...
Ok you don't want to endure unnecessary needless tests, but ensure you have had the tests etc that will benefit you.
Q...What other forms of treatment can I try...
Some people are kept on the same treatment for years even though it's obvious it's not working. Or their drug therapy may be hopelessly wrong. New ways of managing back pain are constantly being developed. Make sure you ask about them. (There may be just the right treatment for you).
Q...I'm in so much pain, Why aren't you doing more for me...
Sometimes even though the doctor knows you are in pain, they just might not have the treatment available to offer you. You may have to accept this, (But you don't have to), look at alternative forms of treatment as well.
Q...What about any new developments, there must be something to help me...
Ask to be kept informed, and tell your doctor you wish to be considered for treatment as soon as it becomes available.
Q...Can you refer me to anyone else...
Ok medicine, drugs and surgery don't seem to have helped you much, Don't despair many people with chronic pain gain comfort from other therapies such as physiotherapy, psychologists, counsellors and specialist pain clinics.
One thing, don't ever assume it's not worth going back to your doctors because you have had your pain for ages, (especially if you never had a proper diagnosis), cos it's never to late to get one...
Just think, a more careful investigation of your symptoms may lead to a more effective treatment.
Don't give up until you have exhausted every avenue (And hey even then don't give up)...
Hope this helps you for when you next visit your doctor...
Remember, you now have your own forum where you can post questions and solutions etc about your back problems (Or just pop in to say hello)
You can find it here.
(Just click on the link)
I'm looking forward to saying hi.
Please note, I can't give medical advice re your back problems etc. What I'm looking for is answers and tips etc from other readers who may have experienced the same problems.
So, get your questions rolling in. This a weekly (ish) newsletter (as time dictates) so you will get your answer on a weekly (ish) basis. Just hit the reply button to this newsletter to ask your question.
If you want to share any hints or tips on how to beat back pain, keep them coming. If you want to write an article for BackBuddies, lets have it.
If you would like to buy a copy of
Lets Talk about Back Pain my easy to read and understand ebook on back problems etc, It's available at
It's in a downloadable format, so you can read it instantly on your computer.
If you would like to become an affiliate for the book, please
It pays out 50% commission
Emergency Measures For Back Pain
Emergency Measures for Back Pain
If you get an acute episode of back pain, the following advice should help you in the short term However if your pain persists for more than a few days, it's imperative you seek medical advice.
Remember, chronic pain is often pain that was not treated appropriately at the acute stage. (Please don't let yourself get to the chronic pain stage just for the sake of not asking for medical help quickly enough)...
Don't lie in bed unless the pain is so bad, you don't have any other choice. Even then, keep the bed rest to a minimum. Ok I'm mean, but bed rest for back problems can often make them worse. So try and keep moving as much as you can.
Use pain killing gel or simple pain killers or anti inflammatories such as paracetamol or Ibuprofen. (Check with your pharmacist for something suitable, and please be careful if you're pregnant, asthmatic or suffering indigestion)...
Applying an icepack to the affected area is a super idea. It soothes the pain, and helps reduces any inflammation. (A bag of frozen peas is a useful alternative). If more of a chronic pain, a warm shower or bath will help as will a hot water bottle. Always remember though to make sure your hot water bottle (or frozen peas etc) are covered with a towel or something, (Don't want you getting burns).
It's imperative you get a diagnosis for any type of back pain. Often when people visit a doctor or specialist, it's found (after investigations) that although the spine is complaining and moaning, there isn't anything serious underlying the pain. However there are some "red flag" symptoms you ignore at your peril...
Pain after a major injury
Pain that never disappears, or gets worse
Numbness, pins and needles or weakness in your legs. You would need to see your doctor urgently if this was progressive, situated around your bum or affecting both your legs...
Difficulty in passing urine or opening your bowels. (Again cause to see your doctor immediately).
Pain and or numbness down the back of the leg to your foot. (May be indicative of sciatica).
Back pain which is associated with pain in your tummy or chest.
Backache plus weight loss, sweating episodes or general feelings of being unwell.
Backache during or after any treatment received for cancer.
To avoid obvious causes of back pain,
Check your bed...Is it properly supporting your back? (Please don't tell me you have back problems, and your sleeping on a health bed), they are far too hard. Your bed needs to be comfortable and supportive.
Driving Ensure you can reach the steering wheel as well as the foot pedals, gear stick etc comfortably.
Use non slip mats in the bathroom,
Avoid bending to do any household tasks (Squat),
Ensure work surfaces are waist height. Sit down to peel the veg...
Ensure your ironing board is at waist height, and do just small amounts frequently.
Ensure the iron is not too heavy for you.
Kneel when making the beds or cleaning the bath,
squat when emptying/loading the washer/dryer etc.
Be extra careful (Again squat), if you have a very low oven...
Keep frequently used items in cupboards at waist height, and less frequently used in the harder to reach cupboards.
Forums and Stuff
Ok guys, it's up and running, please use it. You can find it here...
Please visit and say hi, It's there for you to post and get to know each other, It would be ace to get to know you all personally.All I ask is please, no spamming the board (and play nice).
Please note, I can't give medical advice re your back problems etc. What I'm looking for is answers and tips etc from other readers who may have experienced the same problems. (Posting on the board would be an ideal place to start)
If you would like to buy a copy of Lets Talk about Back Pain my easy to read and understand e-book on back problems etc, It's available at http://www.backpain-free.com
It's in a downloadable format, so you can read it instantly on your computer.
If because of your disability, you find you are unable to work, and are toying with the idea of going into internet marketing, please visit my site for newbie marketers atwww.newbie-network.com It's a new concept...No bull and hype, just easy to understand and digestible information
An 80-year old man was having his annual check-up and the doctor asked him how he was feeling. "I've never been better!" he boasted. "I've got an eighteen year old bride who's pregnant and having my child! What do you think about that?"
The doctor considered this for a moment, then said, "Let me tell you a story. I knew a guy who was an avid hunter. He never missed a season. But one day, he went out in a bit of a hurry, and he accidentally grabbed his umbrella instead of his gun." Anyway, he's in the woods, and suddenly a grizzly bear appeared in front of him...He raised up his umbrella, pointed it at the bear and squeezed the handle. And do you know what happened?" the doctor queried.
Dumbfounded, the old man replied, "No." The doctor continued, "The bear dropped dead in front of him!" "That's impossible!" exclaimed the old man. "Someone else must have shot that bear."
"That's kind of what I'm getting at," replied the doctor.
Please feel free to use the above article, but resource box must be left intact!
Kim Standerline is a Registered Nurse, Back Care Advisor and author living and working in the UK .Visit www.nursing-hints.com for up to date information on your medical and nursing problems