Forget popping pills… just ditch your flat shoes and switch your pillow.

Back pain is one of the most common physical ailments that people experience at some point in their lives.

Whether it’s stiffness, constant niggles or something more serious, for many people there is not one particular treatment that will work. However a combination of small changes to their lifestyle that can help eliminate pain.

Orit (chiropractor) shares seven tips on how to get rid of back pain.

“If you suffer from neck pain, make sure that your shoulders stay off your pillow so that it is only supporting your head. If your shoulder and neck are on the pillow the joints on that side will get squashed and will stretch the joints on the opposite side, causing the neck to stiffen up. You may have to try different types of pillows until you get it right, there is no one type of pillow that works for everyone.”

“Another way to take the pressure off your back is to lie on your side with a pillow in-between your knees to keep your pelvis level. A firmer bed rather than a softer bed will prevent stiffening up during the night. A bed that is too soft will mould the mattress round your body like a jelly mould. This means that your back won’t get the support it needs.”

Poor posture can cause muscular imbalance, which puts pressure on certain areas of the spine, which will lead to wear and tear over time. “One great way to correct your posture is to imagine there is a helium balloon attached to the top of your head stretching you up tall to elongate the spine. The idea is to keep the chest open, your shoulders back. Our bodies are designed to have mild natural curves in the spine. This creates balance and shock absorption as we move.”

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We have two sets of muscles in the body; those that produce movement (global system) and those that provide support/stability (stabilising system). “Both sets of muscles need to be strong in order to prevent back pain. It’s a good idea to do a combination of exercises. For example Pilates and general gym exercises to strengthen muscles such as your gluteal, abdominal and back muscles. e.g. squats and lunges is advisable.”

We’re always told that high heels will play havoc on your back and knees. However wearing flats can also lead to back pain. Especially if you a have a foot that is over-pronated.

“If you wear flat shoes such as ballet pumps, or flip flops, with no arch. This will cause your foot to roll inwards every time you walk. This will transfer abnormal forces up to the knee, hip and lower back causing pain. Wearing a supportive shoe will keep your body in a good alignment which can help with back pain.”

If you’re concerned about your neck or back, it’s always advisable to visit your local clinic. Speak to a chiropractor and get personalised advice and tips.

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