Monday 4th October 2021
Standing up to back pain – how to manage and prevent back pain in everyday life
Are you someone who suffers from back pain? Experts estimate a staggering up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives. Back pain can affect people of all ages - from teenagers to the elderly – and is the third most common reason for visits to the doctor's office, behind skin disorders and osteoarthritis/joint disorders.
With Back Pain Awareness Week running from 4-8th October, we’ve taken a closer look at the causes, treatments and prevention methods for this all-too-common source of pain.
- 1 in 6 people suffer with back pain, which can occur in any area of the spine
- 1 in 3 people state that back pain impacts their everyday life
- 50% of all working adults report having back pain symptoms each year
- Both lifestyle and work can impact your back at any time throughout your life
- Jobs that involve heavy lifting, pulling, pushing, and especially combined with twisting significantly increases the odds of back pain
- Another common cause is a sedentary job involving sitting for long periods with poor posture
- Weight gain during pregnancy or through age, how we stand or move, activity levels and how we live day to day can all make a massive impact on how we manage our backs
Causes of back pain
Most back pain is what's known as "non-specific,” meaning there's no obvious cause, or "mechanical,” meaning the pain originates from the joints, bones or soft tissues in and around the spine. There are many causes of back pain, ranging from medical to lifestyle attributors.
The role of exercise
Studies have shown that staying active can be hugely valuable in the management of back pain. Moderate increases and progressions to your workouts can make significant improvements to your pain. Depending on where you suffer and the cause, exercise can help you become better equipped to cope with your back care management both physically but mentally.
Exercising regularly can make you stronger, increase your flexibility, increase your stamina, improve balance and posture, improve circulation, keep weight under control, enhance sleep, reduce stress, improve mental wellbeing, and reduce fear of movement.
Top tips to alleviate back pain
If you suffer from back pain, read these simple tips on how best to manage it and maintain a normal lifestyle:
- Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle as losing weight can help alleviate back pain, especially in the lower back
- Try and move more and find movements that help reduce pain. Even when you have pain, gentle movement and stretching will help stiffness.
- Ask the wellness team on guidance on classes for stretching and back pain - we have lots of options for you at the club or on our online timetable
- Try to maintain good posture. Avoiding slumping in a chair or hunching over a desk or car steering wheel. Maintaining good posture all day is quite a workout on the stomach and back muscles. Visit the gym and for tips for your personal posture type
Top tips to prevent back pain
To try and prevent back pain from occurring in the first place, follow these steps:
- Practice good posture
- Book a yoga or Pilates class, which can help strengthen your core muscles as well as increasing your flexibility and reducing stress
- Avoid long periods of inactivity; make a point to get up and move every 20 minutes
- Walk or move every day. Add reminders to your daily diary so you book an appointment to move during your working day
- Invest in trainers that help facilitate good posture and movement, and avoid trainers that tend to cause imbalances, such as fashion trainers
- Lift heavy objects with your back straight and your elbows close to your body, and avoid twisting during the lift
- Create healthy work & lifestyle environment set ups, such as using a standing desk where you can work standing as well as seated or how you position or stand when ironing. Think about all the activities you do daily that affect your back pain
- When seated, use chairs with good lumbar support
- Make sure your mattress gives you enough support (firmness) but is soft enough to not cause pain. Everyone has different needs for their mattress. Make sure that you replace your mattress every 5-8 years on average
- Replace couches that sag and don't give proper support
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach (for many people this can put pressure on the vertebrae in the lower spine and neck)
- Stay close to your ideal weight
- Don't smoke. Smoking reduces blood flow to the spine, impedes healing, and increases the chances of osteoporosis
- Engage in regular exercise
- Get enough sleep
Caring for your back in the health club
- There are many things you can do to maintain good back health while getting a workout in. We’ve listed some of them here:
- Maintain a great relationship with your spine, head, neck, and back. Think about your alignment and posture in every exercise and movement you complete. When using the weights you can view your form in the mirrors, or ask a member of the team to give you tips on your positioning. Form is also essential when using the cardio machines, especially cycling, walking and running
- Try swimming, as the water supports your body weight and you can also use floats for extra buoyancy or for increasing intensity. Aqua classes are also great as they offer an exercise class with less impact
- Make stretching an important part of your workout, as flexibility and mobility of the joints are important in reducing back pain and stiffness. For a workout specific to these try either a yoga or Pilates class
Back care for golfers
Poor technique, lack of warm up exercises before playing and carrying heavy bags are the main causes for back pain and golf. Read these tips to keep your back healthy during your next game.
- The repetitive nature of the golf swing will naturally put pressure onto the spine, alongside the added pressure to your muscles. The combination of both can lead you to more injuries. As a golfer, having a workout programme specific to your needs will help to ensure you are less likely to suffer with back injuries or pain
- Don’t forget to include a 2–3-minute warm-up! Lack of preparation can lead to reduced mobility, flexibility and back pain. The wellness team can tailor a warm-up just for you, using simple exercises that can make a massive impact on your game
- Being aware of your posture and type will help improve your swing and reduce the risk of back pain. The wellness team can provide you guidance on exercise tips and help you understand neutral spine and core activation for that perfect swing
- The golf swing can also cause back pain from overextending during the end phase. Being able to activate your core through this rotation of the swing and flexibility through the hips and hamstrings will put less pressure on the lower back. Classes such as Pilates and stretch-based programmes will provide you with exercises to help develop these key physical components
- As a golfer, using the gym or classes will not only help maintain your health and wellbeing but also provide you with right physical tools to improve your game for both enjoyment and results. If you haven’t yet tried the gym or a class, speak to our wellness team who can advise you on all the options
How can we help?
Our wellness teams have been busy training throughout September on back care exercises, injury types, postural analysis and exercise corrections. We’ll be in the gym providing members with education, support and advice with any back care concerns and injuries. For further support and guidance, we also offer Personal Training which can be tailored to your training goals.
The wellness team can advise and assist you with your concerns, with medical conditions to be referred to the relevant practitioner or GP. Join the wellness team to get support and advice on reducing the burden of back & neck pain offering you guidance, exercises and lifestyle tips on ways to prevent and alleviate back pain.
To find out more about Back Care Awareness Week, visit Back Care's website on Back Care Awareness Week.
Visit our clubs for more on keeping fit and active
About The Club Company
Majority-owned by Epiris LLP, The Club Company operates 15 country clubs, the majority of which are located in central and southern England. The clubs offer a range of facilities to their members, including championship standard golf courses, premium health and fitness facilities, swimming pools, tennis courts, bars, restaurants and accommodation. Majority-owned by Epiris LLP, The Club Company operates 15 country clubs, the majority of which are located in central and southern England. The clubs offer a range of facilities to their members, including championship standard golf courses, premium health and fitness facilities, swimming pools, tennis courts, bars, restaurants and accommodation.