People in the UK encouraged to stay active this Chiropractic Awareness Week
British Chiropractic Association (BCA) discovers over a third of people in the UK fail to prevent or manage back pain
This Chiropractic Awareness Week (8th – 14th April) the BCA is encouraging people in the UK to keeping moving, after finding that 42% of people don’t take any steps to look after their back health.
The findings come from a survey conducted by the BCA, which unearthed that 22% of people in the UK don’t take any action when they experience back or neck pain and 11% wouldn’t seek help from a health professional if they were experiencing these issues.
Chiropractic Awareness Week aims to educate people about the easy ways they can avoid or alleviate back pain, which on average 80% of the nation has experienced. Regularly changing posture and remaining seated for no longer than 30 minutes at a time are just a couple of the simple ways to prevent or reduce pressure on the back.
According to the BCA’s survey, when it comes to back and neck pain, they found that:
42% of people don’t take any steps to look after their back health
Only 58% have taken preventative steps to protect themselves from developing back or neck pain
80% of people have experienced back or neck pain
11% wouldn’t seek help from a health professional for back pain and, 31% would wait a month or longer
Only 10% would make changes to their daily routine if experiencing back or neck pain
19% choose their mattresses bases on price, rather than comfort
BCA President and Chiropractor, Catherine Quinn, commented on the findings:
“There are so many people in the UK living with neck or back pain because they don’t know what preventative steps they can take, so we want to shine a light on the simple changes which can help. Chiropractic Awareness Week is designed to educate everyone on the best ways to prevent and tackle back or neck pain, from changing up your posture when sat at a desk, to sleeping on the right mattress.”
“Easy changes to your day-to-day life can make a significant difference, but if your pain doesn’t reduce or is prolonged, you should always see a health professional for further guidance.”
The BCA’s top tips for keeping on top of neck and back pain include:
Keep on moving: Physical activity can be beneficial for managing back pain, however it’s important that if this is of a moderate to high intensity that you warm up and down properly to get your body ready to move! If a previous injury is causing you pain, adapt your exercise or seek some advice. Activities such as swimming, walking or yoga can be less demanding on your body, while keeping you mobile!
Take a break: When sitting for long periods of time, ensure you stand up and move around every 30 minutes. When at work, also make sure your desk is set up to support a comfortable position. This is different for everyone so if you don’t feel comfortable in your current set up, try altering the height of your chair or screen.
Other things which people can bear in mind include:
Lifting and carrying: Remember to bend from the knees, not the waist when lifting heavy items. Face in the direction of movement and take your time. Hold the object as close to your body as possible, and where you can avoid carrying objects which are too heavy to manage alone, ask for help or use the necessary equipment.
Sleep comfortably: The Sleep Council recommends buying a new mattress at least every 7 years. Mattresses lose their support over time, so if you can feel the springs through your mattress, or the mattress is no longer level, your mattress is no longer providing the support you need. Everyone has different support requirements, so when purchasing your mattress ensure it is supportive for you. If you share a bed and require different mattress types, consider two single mattresses which are designed to be joined together, to ensure you both get the support you need.
Straighten Up!: The BCA has created a programme of three-minute exercises, Straighten Up UK, which can be slotted in to your daily schedule to help prevent back pain by promoting movement, balance, strength and flexibility in the spine.
(See BCA website)