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Treating a patient
How to avoid Back Pain

Most neuro-musculo-skeletal problems are caused by either poor posture or trauma. The best way to a healthy back is watching your posture whether you are at rest or exercising. Any joint not being used correctly is susceptible to strain, stress and pain. Regular chiropractic checks and advice on posture and exercise can help keep your nerves, joints, bones and muscles in good health. For more advice see http://www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/straightenup.

Lack of exercise is your worse enemy. Whether you are relaxing, working or driving prolonged sitting loads the spine and discs. Sit up straight, do not slouch and make sure your back is supported. Try to have breaks and get up and move around every 30 to 40 minutes, or every hour if driving. Stretches and shoulder shrugs also help to keep your back supple

Make sure you have a supportive mattress and pillow. The hardness of the mattress you need depends on weight and stature, so it varies from person to person. A mattress can be too hard if you are a petite lady but perfect if you are a builder. On the other hand the mattress can be too soft and sag in the middle which obviously is not good either. Adopt a sleeping position which creates the least possible stress on your spine. This means not sleeping on your front. Your pillow needs to support your head in neutral whether you are lying on your back or side. There are plenty of mattresses and pillows to choose from, the best thing would be to try before you buy. At the Clinic we give you advice on how to choose properly.

Warm up
Whether you are doing DIY, gardening or sport you need to warm up. Any unusual exercise can put your back at risk so you need to prepare yourself physically and mentally. Warming up and cooling down is essential to prevent injury. A brisk walk and general stretches before you start can help prevent problems.

Cooling Down
Stretching after exercise is just as important as the warm up. Hold each stretch for 10 seconds to ensure a proper stretch. Your chiropractor can advise on specific exercises . Whether at work or play your body has to deal with a lot of stress every day. Your chiropractor understands these stresses and can help and advise you how to avoid damage or injury.
Young family
How to manage acute Back Pain

Listen to your Body
Pain is a warning sign. If it hurts stop what you are doing. Working through the pain can make things worse.

Keep Mobile, as mobile as you can
If you stay in bed all day your muscles will sieze up and make your problems worse. If you can, get out of bed during the day at regular intervals and move around for a few minutes.

Pain Killers
Be careful with pain killers and anti-inflammatory medication and follow the advice provided. Long term use of anti-inflammatory medicine is to be avoided because of possible side effects.

Try to be as comfortable as possible. When you have acute pain there is no right or wrong position. Most people find lying on the back with knees bent at 90 degrees and hips at 90 degrees and possibly legs supported by pillows is often the most comfortable position.

The pain may be due to an inflamed joint, which means ice will have the most therapeutic value. Apply the ice pack covered by a tea towel to the inflamed area for 15 to 20 minutes every two hours. Do not use ice if you suffer from poor circulation or diabetes.

Heat is predominately used to help relax muscles. Be careful with a hot bath as it can increase inflamation and the position can make you seize up.

Your diet is very important as your body relies on vitamins and minerals to ensure healthy functioning of the nerves, joints, muscles and bones. Avoid processed food, too much salt, sugar, fat, alcohol and caffeine. Make sure you get your '5 a Day', so plenty of fruit and vegetables. Drink plenty of water; aim at 2 litres a day.

If the pain persists
See your chiropractor. Pain is a warning sign do not ignore it. Early manipulation is suggested in the European Guidelines for treating acute low back pain.
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