Standing up for hours, leaning forward with your head tilted down… it’s not surprising that being a hairdresser or barber is tough on your back – a study conducted in America found that it’s one of the top fifteen high-risk occupations for developing lower back pain. Uncomfortable postures, long hours, washing clients’ hair and stress has contributed to a strong correlation between lower back pain and hairdressing. But there are lots of ways you can improve symptoms of chronic pain – and most of them are completely free.
- Sit down or perch on a high stool when you can. Standing for long periods forces your pelvis backwards, making the curve in your lower back more pronounced, which can lead to joint stiffness and muscle spasms. Even if you only take five minutes to get off your feet, this adds up if you make the time to do so every hour or two during a working day.
- Take care how you stand. Make sure your weight is as evenly distributed as possible. Try rocking backwards and forwards on your heels and toes to keep your muscles awake. Also, bend your knees slightly or do a standing exercise where you tuck your tail in and hold for a few seconds. This takes the weight off the spinal joints. Standing on a soft mat can help too.
- From time to time put your foot up on a block or small step, and alternate. It rests one side of your back at a time.
- It’s also a good idea to check your posture. Whenever possible, stand up straight, engage your core slightly and make sure your shoulders aren’t hunched forward. This will relieve tension on your back and take some pressure off your feet.
- Between clients, crouch down if you can. This stretches your spine and relieves the stiffness in the spinal joints.
- Make sure your shoes are comfortable. Tight or unsupportive shoes can put too much pressure on one part of your foot, which if worn regularly can cause postural stress and misalignment of the spine. Avoid high heels at all costs.
- Wear orthotic insoles. When the arches of your feet are under strain, it’s harder for your body to absorb the impact weight bearing, which causes pressure on the lower back. Insoles support your arches and stabilise your foot position, meaning that a long working day won’t put so much pressure on your feet and lower back. At Sundial we have a selection of orthotic insoles – have a chat with our chiropractors about which ones are right for you.
If these tips don’t work for you and you’re worried about lower back pain, book in for a check-up with us. We’re always happy to help you.