Back pain is almost as prevalent as the common cold, and it can be uncommonly painful.It is not a disease but a sign that something is wrong. An ache in the back can be prevented as the cause is usually mechanical. Backache may be called many things. All these are popular general expressions: Back strain, muscle tear, sciatica, lumbago, arthritis, slipped disc etc.
There are many causes of back pain. These include poor posture, inadequate weak muscles sometimes caused by growing too fast; lifting and carrying incorrectly; an old sagging bed or straight horizontal chairs. The lower back, since it is very mobile, is the most common site of backache, which can result from a simple action as: yawning, coughing or sneezing, tying a shoe lace or pulling a sheet off a bed. Loss of movement occurs to a varying degree, with an increase in pain when you attempt to move. Strain on the low back can affect the normal mobility of the joints, even altering the curvature which puts an added strain on the joints, muscles, ligaments and discs. Ergonomics is the science that has evolved to reduce the friction between man and work. It is the study of the physical relationship between the worker and the work environment; for example,when seated to work the height of both work surface and chair should be comfortable with both feet resting on the floor.
The application of ergonomic principles will produce greater efficiency for the same amount of effort, and as a spin off will prevent back problems in the office, the factory or the home. In an ideal situation, furniture, fitments throughout the house and surfaces at work will be ergonomically designed to fit the individual's body and lifestyle, thereby preventing stress and strain on the back.
Good Posture is essential for preventing back pain. Select chairs and beds that provide good support for the spine and help to keep the 'S' shape.
The ideal position for sitting at a desk is in an adjustable chair with your knees below your pelvis & with good lumbar support. Remember to take short breaks!
When sitting at a desk your feet should be firmly on the floor & your chair as close to the desk as possible with the things you use most often within arms reach When using the mouse use your whole arm from the shoulder and not just your wrist Answer the phone with the left hand if you are right handed & vice versa. Do not tuck the handset under your chin. Computer screens should be at arms length & slightly below eye level Back pain may indicate a medical problem. Always seek medical advice first. Before starting a new exercise regime consult the doctor & always warm up before exercise.
Minor injuries respond well to alternate hot & cold packs on the affected area. Always drive with your arms bent to help prevent neck strain & stop frequently on long journeys. When lifting always bend your knees & keep your back straight. Balance is the secret of carrying everything from the baby to the shopping. Hold your baby in front of you& carry heavy shopping equally balanced in both hands.