To mark National Backcare Awareness Week (7-11 October 2013) Oliver Gray, author of 'Energise You', offers some handy tips on relieving back pain.
 
Back pain is a common problem that affects most people at some point in their life. According to research of over 4,000 people (by energiseYou) over two-thirds (68%) of us regularly experience tension or feel pain in our neck, back and shoulders. Now is the time to take action to improve your posture and relieve the pain. Here are a few tips:
 
1. Posture
Try to avoid slouching – if you are constantly hunched forward you can strain your back muscles, causing them to hurt. This pain is easily avoided if you maintain proper posture.
 
- Try the Alexander Technique
This technique teaches you how to avoid using unnecessary muscular tension during your everyday activities. For more information visit www.alexandertechnique.com.
 
- Workstation Assessment
 
Sitting at a computer all day can cause back-related problems if your workstation is not set up correctly and you do not take regular breaks. 
 
Your employer is legally obliged to carry out a DSE workstation assessment to ensure your workstation is set up correctly. Speak to your manager if you have not had one or you feel something is not right at your desk.
 
In the meantime click here for a free factsheet designed to help you remain health and energised at your computer.
 
 
2. Exercise 
There are exercises you can do that will reduce the likelihood of suffering a back injury. Yoga and Pilates are both low impact exercise programmes that help to strengthen core muscles, improve flexibility and prevent future injuries. 
 
 
3. Think before you lift
When lifting something heavy, make sure you bend using your knees, instead of bending from your lower back. Many back related injuries are caused by lifting things in the wrong way and can be prevented. 
 
4. See a specialist
If you experience persistent back pain and rest does not help, it is important to get a diagnosis from your doctor.