Sleeping and sitting named as top triggers for back pain

Choosing a mattressWhat are the commonest causes of back and neck pain? Surprisingly most people don’t mention strenuous exercise but sleeping and sitting as their commonest causes of neck and back pain.

A new survey asked people throughout the South East about their neck and back pain. 76% said they were currently experiencing pain in the neck or back or had done so in the past. 43% said that sleeping caused their problem whereas 44% said sitting was also a trigger.

With 4 out 5 people spending 6 hours or more in front of a computer screen and 19% spending 4 or more hours in front the the television it could be that modern lifestyle is to blame for these high figures for neck and back pain.

As part of Back Pain Awareness Week (6-12th Oct) we are raising awareness about this issue and encouraging everyone not to take it sitting down. By being more active you can drastically reduce neck and back pain. Understanding how to sit properly and keeping active will help improve posture, strengthen muscles and therefore reduce neck and back pain

TOP TIPS for maintaining a healthy back and neck:

  • Sit up straight – keep arms relaxed and close to the body and place arms on the desk when typing. Make sure the top of the screen is level with the eyebrows and the chair is titled slightly forward, allowing for the knees to be lower than the hips and the feet to be flat on the floor. Workstation help.
  • Keep moving – if sitting in the same position all day take regular breaks – ideally every 30 minutes. It’s good to stretch your arms, shrug your shoulders and move your fingers around – this helps to keep the muscles more relaxed. RSI treatment and prevention.
  • Switch off – try to limit the time you spend leaning over you mobile devices or with your laptop on your knees especially after a day spent in front of a screen, to help improve your posture and relieve neck strain.
  • Sleep easy – test out your mattress before you buy it to find the perfect one and lie on your side rather than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side. Mattress help.

For more information on how to maintain a healthy posture, here is a simple, three minute exercise programme for all ages, designed to help strengthen the spine and improve posture and help joints. To watch a video of the exercises you can do, please visit: http://www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/straightenup.

If you have a neck or back problem you might like to see one of our Brighton chiropractors or physio’s then call 01273 774114.

Research was commissioned in January 2014 on a sample of 2006 UK adults.

*Sample of 408 adults from the South East responded to the question ‘have you ever suffered from neck or back pain’ and 312 adults from the South East responded to the question ‘how often do you suffer from neck or back pain’.


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