Having suffered with intermittent back pain throughout my life (I totally blame being ‘blessed’ with a fair amount of boobage,) I was glad to attend an event on Saturday run by Publicasity and the British Chiropractic Association. Unfortunately, no breast reduction operations were on offer but I was hoping they’d be able to give me some tips on how to prevent any further problems occurring.
If you have ever suffered with back problems, you’ll know how debilitating it can be and I remember especially suffering when my children were young. Lifting them in and out of the cot, doing the ‘hip carry’ when they’re attached to your hip all the time as toddlers and generally just picking them up puts an enormous strain on your back. My babies were 9lb plus – so you can see why I suffered!
Tim Hutchful, from the British Chiropractic Association, explains: “The ideal posture would allow for a plumb line to hang straight through your ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle. Try and stand in a relaxed way but gently contracting your abdominal muscles. When sitting, the same is true. The gravity line should pass thorough ear, shoulder and hip.”
Tim went on to demonstrate the best way to pick things from the floor (putting one leg in the air really removes the strain from your back,) how to best place your baby in its cot, (put one leg against the cot and apply the same principle of raising your other leg,) and how to take your baby in and out of its car seat without straining your back. My baby is 7 so I stayed in the warm and ate cake whilst he demonstrated that one!
I have always found Pilates helpful for my back – seems to stretch it out and strengthen it at the same time. It’s not for everyone but it’s really worth trying it out to see if it works for you.
In the meantime, I shall continue cycling when I can, strengthening my core muscles at the gym and just try to keep as fit as a full time job will allow me because one thing’s for sure … at 41 years old, gravity is a right pain in the …. back!
Anyway, here are some useful tips I came away with:
- There is almost twice as much pressure on your back when you are sitting. Allow your seat to take your weight, try and make sure you are sitting as far back in the car seat as possible when driving so it can support you fully.
- A no-brainer but a lack of exercise is your worst enemy. Regular exercise is essential as the fitter you are, the less likely you are to injure yourself.
- When you are relaxing in front of the TV, the tendency is to ‘slouch’ when sitting. The ideal sitting position is to let the seat take your weight and, if possible, keep as much of your body in contact with the chair so that your whole body is supported.
- Any bag that spreads equal weight on both shoulders is preferred, so if you can carry items in a rucksack – do it! Adjust the straps of a bag to keep it as close to the back as possible which ensures weight is evenly distributed across the back.
- A lot of people spend hours in front of a PC each day – make sure you are sitting comfortably and have your spine supported. Don’t forget to shift position from time to time.
- For laptops used in the home, it is a good idea to buy a normal keyboard and mouse to plug in, as this makes it much easier to use the laptop in a more ‘back friendly manner’.
- When on the move with your laptop, take time to check your bag or briefcase for items you will not need. It is amazing how much unwanted ‘stuff’ quickly accumulates and the additional weight in your bag is extra weight that your shoulders and back have to bear.
Thanks to Publicasity and the BCA for an informative afternoon!
Further information can be obtained at www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk
* I was not paid to write this review but I drank 4 cups of tea and ate my own bodyweight in pork pies, McCoys and Viennese Whirls.
After the event, (we also happened to come away with a yard of Jaffa Cakes which made Skig’s year!) I took Skig to a beautiful park we happened to come across in Drury Lane. Blink and you’d miss it but it was beautiful – very different to our council run local park at home!
It was clean, quiet and really pretty – reminded me of the gated park that Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts sneak into in Notting Hill. We stayed with Lisa from New Mum Online and her gorgeous son Aaron for the best part of an hour and then headed off towards Covent Garden.
Skig had seen street performers before when we were in Barcelona – but he was only two and actually, they just stand there, not a great deal of performing going on. However, he loved the ones we saw in Covent Garden – especially the silver warrior (can’t think of a better description!) – probably because he had two swords! Being such a tight Mum, I wouldn’t let him have his picture taken with him because you have to pay (I’m SO mean!) so this is as close as he got – still, he seemed happy enough.
After that, we walked to Leicester Square to catch the tube to St Pancras and got home at 5pm.
Working back in an office in a 9-5 capacity, it’s days like this that I appreciate all the more. Chilling with my youngest for the day is one of life’s little pleasures.