We’ve Got Your Back
General Health Tips

We’ve Got Your Back

9 Mins read

You might feel that back pain is too minor a problem to lose any sleep over. However, in the minority of cases where back pain is symptomatic of a more severe musculoskeletal issue, leaving it untreated can be extremely dangerous. In addition, nobody likes having an aching back. Practising the following guidelines will do wonders for your back health, and keep back pain well at bay.

Back to basics

When we refer to our back, we are really referring to two separate parts of our body. The first is our spine, made up of 24 small bones called vertebrae. They support the weight of your entire upper body and provide vital protection to your spinal cord, which acts as the communication channel between your brain and the rest of your body.1 The second is our back muscles — the largest being our latissimus dorsi (the muscles that give well-built people a “V” taper).

Resolving back pain

Here are some common causes of muscular back pain and some quick fixes!

  • Poor posture. Slouching creates considerable tension in our back muscles and puts pressure on our vertebrae. Although fixing poor posture requires considerable discipline and concentration, it’s worth the effort. Start by correcting it in front of the computer.2
    • The top of your computer screen should be just above eye level.
    • Your feet should be touching the floor.
    • Your back should be flat against the back of the chair and you should be looking straight ahead.
    • Your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle.
  • Sagging mattress. When is the last time you changed your mattress? Over time, the springs of our mattress tend to lose their tension, resulting in sagging. When you sleep on a saggy mattress, your back muscles are put under greater strain. Sleep is meant to be restful, not strenuous, so invest in a new mattress today.3
  • Being overweight. Our vertebrae are the workhorses of our skeletal system, keeping our entire upper body upright all day. But the heavier our bodies, the harder our vertebrae have to work. Extra pounds, particularly around the waist area, can put our spine under stress and cause frequent back pain. Shed a few pounds for better spinal health.1
  • Incorrect lifting technique. Whether you’re hauling weights around in the gym or simply taking out the trash, remember to always lift with correct posture. Your back should be straight, your knees should be bent and you should be looking straight ahead of you. Lift with your knees, not your back — or else you’re risking a herniated disc.
  • Poor flexibility. Poor mobility in our back muscles and ligaments can cause back pain. To improve flexibility, consider taking up yoga or Pilates. These give your back muscles a fantastic stretch and also help to build up your core muscles to prevent injury.

Good spinal health is crucial to a healthy, pain-free life. Following the guidelines set out above takes you one step closer to that goal.


  1. Back Pain Guide – Keep Moving. NHS Choices. Visited 21 February 2014.
  2. How to sit correctly. NHS Choices. Visited 24 March 2014
  3. Bed Buyers Guide. The Sleep Council. Published 2014.

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