Joanna Slup

                            Certified Schroth Method physiotherapist

                            Chartered physiotherapist

                            Registered with HPC








   Back pain is an endemic problem, widespread throughout the community. It is a problem that will affect the majority of adults at some point in their lives.


   Back pain is thus one of the most common causes of disability, especially during the productive middle years of life.


   It has been estimated that 10% of the adult population, or 30% of those with back pain, report some limitation of their normal activity in the past month because of it. Work loss due to backache occurs for 2% of the adult population each month, just less than 10% each year and in 25 - 30% of the working population across their lifetimes.


Back problems can be caused by many factors:

  • repeated bending and lifting
  • prolonged bending
  • unexpected spinal loading
  • driving
  • sedentary jobs
  • a high icidence of back pain has been found in those who spend a lot of their working day either sitting or standing, but was much less common in those who were able to vary their working positions regularly during the day.




1/ Posture - good posture is important for the improvement in your spine what ever your age.


2/ Standing - when standing badly, your lower spine can be very flat or over-arched or bending sideways with a hip protruding. All these factors produce strain on the ligaments and muscles and allow the joints in the spine to push or wedge together and produce stiffness, aches and pain in lower back.


3/ Sitting - You should not sit for morethan twenty minutes at a time. Stand and extend the spine fully.Do the same in the sitting position if standing is not possible. Many people have to sit for long hours at a desk, a bench or in a car. Therefore it is essential to sit well. If sitting badly, the spine slouches, the ligaments and muscles are overstretched and strained, the discs become distorted and again the joints of the spine push together. 


Check that


  • Your chair is the correct height and lenght, your feet easily reach the floor and your knees are at 90 degress
  • Your seat goes right to the back of the chair
  • Your weight should be over both hips equally
  • Your lower back has a curve forwards at the waist line. This is not easy to maintain therefore a roll, folded towel or a portion of the chair should be placed to support this curve    


At a desk


   The chair should be brought right up to the desk, and the arms of the chair should not obstruct this. Check that the desk and the chair are a good height together. Check that your chair fully supports the curve in your lower back or use a roll there instead.


In a car


   Check that the back of your seat is upright, not inclined backwards and then use a roll to maintain your curve. Check that the seat is not to far away from the pedals, you should always have a small bend in your knees when using the peadals. Arms should be slightly bent at the elbow, and the shoulders should be relaxed.

To get out the car, move both legs out together, bend forwards from the hips and do not slouch to avoid knocking your head.


Watching television


    Do not sit on too soft an armchair or settee or one that is too low. A firmer seat with good support and a roll behind is more comfortable. Stretch your back every 20 minutes. Try lying on your front to watch television, for 20 to 30 mins. If your back is painful. 




  • Stand close to load, firm footing and wide base, in stride position
  • Arch back slightly
  • Bend knees to go down to load, keep back straight
  • Get a secure grip and hold the load a close to you as possible
  • Keep upright and lift load by straightening the knees
  • Take a steady lift, do not jerk
  • If turning move feet to turn and avoid twisting the lower back 




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