It is one of the commonest health complaints in the UK, yet it is largely avoidable with some simple adjustments to bad habits…
Use a support
If you drive regularly or are in a desk-based job, roll up a small tea towel or bath towel as a lower back support. This takes pressure off the discs in the spine and helps to evenly distribute weight.
Limit your phone use
Avoid binge-watching TV on your devices in bed with your head propped up. It places a huge amount of stress across the neck, shoulders and upper back.
Ditch your big bag
The larger the bag, the more stuff you pack into it, which will cause more stress to the back and neck.
Our bodies are meant to move, so stand rather than sit and keep active. Periods of inactivity can lead to a reduction in muscle strength and cause posture to deteriorate.
Kick off your heels
Avoid wearing heels for any length of time. They do little to absorb shock as we walk, which in the long-term can cause shortening of the calf muscles and a forward-tilting pelvis, increasing pressure on the lower spine.
Get in the swim
Switch high-impact activities, such as road-running and high-intensity aerobic classes, for low-impact exercise, such as swimming, which not only relieves pressure on the joints and spine, but also gives your back muscles a full workout.
From Mr Michael Fatica, lead consultant osteopath at The Mayfair Clinic, London (themayfairclinic.com).