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Back pain is extremely common. Research reveals that 3 in 4 adults in Scotland will experience the discomfort and distress of back pain. A spine must be kept active in order to continue functioning properly.

5-a-day – Getting yours is easy

Exercise is commonly advised as one of the best ways to help prevent and manage most back pain.

Inactivity leads to stiffer joints and sitting for long periods compresses them further, potentially causing more pain.

Being active will keep the joints limber, which will make for a healthier spine.

Here are some tips to help you get into your 5-a-Day exercise habit:

For the exercises 2-5, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.

1. Cat stretch

  • On all fours position with hands below shoulders and knees under hips
  • Exhale and curl the spine towards the sky
  • On the inhale lift the head and tailbone (like a cat)
  • Repeat 10 times.

2. Knee to chest

  • Bend one knee toward chest
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds then release
  • Repeat on opposite side.

3. Pelvic tilt

  • Inhale to tilt pelvis upwards, forming a tunnel of light under the back
  • Exhale and tilt the pelvis backwards to flatten the spine onto the floor
  • Repeat 10 times.

4. Bridging

  • Bridge up allowing the tailbone to lead the movement
  • Now slowly, joint by joint, return the spine to the floor
  • Repeat 5 times.

5. Knee rolling

  • Keep your knees and feet together as you roll your knees from side to side
  • Enjoy that feeling of stretching out the sides of your body
  • Continue this movement for 2 mins.

#BackforGood – Everyday Tips

  • Keep moving - even going for a gentle walk for five minutes can work wonders
  • Good posture - avoid the computer hump. Hunching over computer keyboards causes more back problems than excessive lifting. Also, avoid sitting for any length of time with your laptop on your lap
  • If you do suffer from back pain caused or made worse by being at work, talk to your employer or HR department. They may be able to help you come up with adaptations to your work environment, patterns and activities in order to help you better manage your back pain
  • Drink plenty of water each day to help flush out any toxins from your body
  • Eat your fruits and vegetables. Good nutrition can help maintain a healthy spine.

What to do if you have any concerns?

Don’t suffer in silence. Contact your GP, or visit our Spinal Centre page to arrange to meet one of our expert consultants.