Are you Sitting Comfortably?*

There’s nothing like slipping a couple of discs to make you realise the importance of taking care of your back. Given that I manage to knacker mine up doing every day things and still ending up in A&E requiring a catheter, having a useless left leg for months and requiring surgery and a lot of physio I seriously had to take a look at my lifestyle- especially my posture to prevent a repeat of the drama. Three years on and *touch wood* I’ve not had much in the way of further problems so I thought not might be a good time to share a few pearls of wisdom as well as a really useful e-book by Adjustable Beds & Riser Recliner Chairs retailer Adjustamatic.
One of the things I learnt through physio is the importance of strengthening your core. Your core is made up of not only your abdominal muscles but also your pelvic muscles, hip muscles and lower and middle back muscles. Having good core strength can help alleviate back pain, keeps your posture in check and can help you to make safer daily movements (think lifting, sitting, standing…). Yoga, pilates and swimming are brilliant ways to strengthen your core and trust me, you will notice a difference!
It sounds really boring but footwear is another thing that really affects my back, if I spend too long in heels- or at least the wrong type of heels I get some serious backache. Platform heels are fine, as well as supportive flats like trainers. Ballet pump style shoes are rubbish for me as they provide little in the way of support but other people might not find this a problem.
My third and final tip before moving on to the ebook is to make sure you have a decent mattress and a decent chair at work. We spend a LOT of our time either sleeping or sitting. I find a firm mattress best for me and if I stay overnight anywhere I often wake up with a niggling spine. The same for chairs. You need to find a chair that really supports your back, or get a detachable back support to go on it- I have one of these at work as well as a back “belt” for days where I am in a bit of pain- it’s great for stopping the slouch!
Anyway, a far more comprehensive guide is this e-book- any one who spends a long time sitting or suffers with back pain really should give it a read. It’s funny, you never really appreciate having a healthy spine until it’s suddenly not so healthy so it really does pay to look after it now.
Have you got any top tips or experiences to share? Leave them in the comments below.

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4 comments for “Are you Sitting Comfortably?*

  1. Oh wow! That’s quite an ordeal to go through! Glad you’ve not been suffering with your back recently *touch wood* *not cursing you* – I sometimes get back pain, but it’s always at work when I’ve got a new desk set up or someone had messed with my chair, I need a peculiar height ratio between desk/keyboard/ floor/chairto work comfortably and when my back goes it’s a painful nightmare for a few weeks. Last time it took about 8 to get back to normal. People shouldn’t touch my stuff! x

  2. Ahrgh, that sounds horrible! I remember you having the problems for so long but ahrgh, horrid!
    I have a lot of back and shoulder pain constantly, a lot is to do with bad posture!

  3. There really is no way to adequately describe how overwhelmingly painful back problems can be – I know. I have been putting off having spine operations for a long time (for multiple spine problems that started with a fall long ago) but it’s gotten too bad to fix non-surgically. I had an MRI and it will probably take more than one operation, but I have much research to do. I dread going into the hospital and picking the right surgeon is crucial. I’ll try working on my abdominal muscles anyway.
    The adjustable bed with good mattress and a lift recliner are a big help. It used to help putting a pillow under my knees lying on my back in bed, or lying on my side with knees slightly bent. I also had to avoid bending much if I’d used my back muscles much the day before.
    Now it hurts just walking.
    You’re young, and it’s important to take proper care now. Getting older with a bad back is no fun at all.
    Best wishes for your healing and getting all better.

  4. Thanks for the reminder to take care of my back. I suffer on and off, possibly as a result of weight lifting / exercise classes. My new rule if it starts to hurt, need to take a break!

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