By definition, you are reading this on an electronic device. More than likely a tablet or a phone. And if that’s the case, then it’s more than likely that you’re hunched over a little, head forward.
Did you just sit up straighter? Thought so…
The noises from medical researchers are increasingly shrill on the damage done to us by technology and the back pain it causes – slumped postures, ‘text neck’ caused by leaning over our devices is causing wear and tear from the extra pressure the unnatural postures put on our spines. The warnings are, more and more, that this is reaching ‘epidemic’ proportions, with ‘significant’ numbers looking like they will need corrective surgery.
So are you going to give up your mobile and tablet? No, of course not, that would just be silly, wouldn’t it?
So instead, try some corrective actions:
Therapeutic yoga can be helpful to some people with low back pain. After hours of sitting/hunching, you need to elongate your back – start on all fours with your arms stretched out straight in front of you, then sit back so your bottom rests just above — but not touching — your heels. Hold the position for 5-10 breaths and repeat as many times as needed for a good, soothing stretch.
Buy a lumbar roll
Lumbar rolls are designed to support the natural curve of the lower back. Many osteopaths and physios reckon this could be the most important investment you can make if you spend hours a day sitting in the car or at a desk.
Take pain relief
Habitually taking pain relief is a bad idea, not least because it can mask the issues which are causing pain, but you can take it to ease the symptoms, and consider taking supplements, containing glucosamine and chondroitin, which are shown in some studies to speed up the process of tissue repair between and around the joints.
Don’t take it lying down
Your parents and grandparents would advocate a hard mattress for back pain, but the general feeling now is that a mattress which takes account of your shape and weight, keeps your spine in alignment and distributes pressure evenly throughout the body is the best way. Lying lying on your side puts less strain on the spine than lying on your front, avoid twisting your neck to the side.
Activities like Pilates can strengthen your core by working the muscles in the abdominal area that wrap around the midriff and enhance good posture. Do them, and then do them regularly.