In this video, HT Physio’s back pain specialist Will Harlow talks about how to fix one of the most common postural problems we see – the anterior pelvic tilt.
This issue causes more pressure on the spine and can lead to, or worsen, back pain and sciatica. Watch the video (taken from Will’s online course, the Sciatica Total Recovery Program) to learn what you can do about this common issue!
To see how HT Physio can help YOU recover from back pain or sciatica, download our 100% FREE back pain guide – 9 Expert Tips to Stop Back Pain – by clicking on the button below!
While back pain doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s
anything ‘serious’ wrong with your back, it can certainly be troublesome.
Back pain affects many of our clients – it can stop them
from doing the things they love, make them feel 20 years older than they
actually are and even threaten their independence and mobility. After years of
working with people with stiff, sore backs, there are some habits that we’ve
been able to identify that clearly make back pain more likely.
Knowing is half the battle – once you know what to avoid,
and what to do instead, it’s possible to make back pain ‘melt away’, simply by
tweaking a few parts of your daily routine.
Here, we talk about 5 daily habits that lead to back pain
and how to avoid them.
Habit #1: Sitting for too long
It’s long been known that desk-based jobs are a risk factor
for back pain. However, most of us spend a long time sitting every single day,
even if we’re not at work!
One common myth is that perfectly adjusted ‘ergonomic’ chairs can prevent back pain – they can’t! Even if you hired the best scientists in the world to create the ‘perfect chair’, if you spent 8 hours a day sat in it, you’d probably still end up with back pain!
Back pain isn’t always just caused by a bad chair, or even
bad posture. It’s usually caused by the short, tight muscles that develop in
our legs and back from being in a sitting position for hours on end.
Short, tight muscles in the pelvis, legs and back pull on
their bony attachments and pull the back out of kilter, making back pain more
If you’ve been sat for a while, then when you stand up you feel
tightness and tension in your legs and back, you’ll have experienced this phenomenon!
Action tip: You can remedy this problem by setting an alarm on your phone that goes off every 30 minutes when you’re sat down. Each time it goes off, stand up, take a walk, then come back to your chair. The difference between doing that and sitting in one place all day will be staggering!
Habit #2: Lifting awkwardly
Everyone thinks that you should always bend your knees when
lifting something from the floor – but did you know that there’s not
necessarily any single ‘harmful’ way of lifting something?
‘Awkward’ lifts can be described as any movement that your
body isn’t used to performing regularly that puts weak muscles under tension
and leaves you vulnerable to a strain, sprain or worse.
We picture the classic ‘awkward lift’ as someone bending and
twisting as they pick a box from the floor. So why is it that some people get
problems when they do this movement, while others can do it many times and be
The answer is that there is a way you can build tolerance to
these movements and improve your body’s capability of performing these actions
Now, there is a right and a wrong way to go about doing
this, so it’s definitely wise to get some advice from a qualified professional
who can put a programme in place to improve your lifting capability – allowing you
to bend, twist and lift from the floor without the fear of your back ‘going’!
Action tip: Get some advice from a qualified physio who can help you with your lifting technique so you can maintain the mobility of your spine for years to come!
Side note: If you’ve recently lifted something awkwardly and you’re thinking “Yes, this sounds like me!” then why not take our free back pain guide – 9 Expert Tips to Stop Back Pain that Causes Stiffness and Stops You from Doing the Things You Love – using the button below today.
The curse of the modern age! Social media and mobile phone
apps are certainly to blame (in part) for the back pain epidemic in the developed
The problem, of course, isn’t the phone or iPad itself – it’s
the posture that we find ourselves in when using them. Usually, we’ll be sat,
hunched forward, over-working our postural muscles to hold the phone still.
Being in this position for hours on end leads to tightness and weakness in
various parts of the body and can cause back pain over time.
Using your phone or iPad stood up isn’t much better, either.
The position our necks have to be in as we crane forward to look at the screen
puts pressure on the entire spine and can be really uncomfortable, even when
you put the phone down after.
Action tip: Be sure to have regular breaks from your phone and iPad, especially in the evenings where we tend to ‘scroll’ for hours on end on the sofa. If you can’t put the iPad down, make sure your neck and lower back are supported in your current chair and you don’t feel like you’re ‘straining’ your neck or shoulders in order to use the device.
Habit #4: Not getting enough sleep
There are direct links between a lack of sleep and an
increased likelihood of suffering from a chronic low back condition.
In fact, the evidence mounting up against a lack of sleep is
really alarming. A lack of sleep can lead to a heightened chance of suffering
from depression and anxiety, which often leads to – you guessed it – back pain.
Sleep researchers recommend getting at least 8 hours of
sleep per night. The most prominent sleep scientists are starting to advocate
that even 7 hours of sleep is not sufficient, and some people need as many as 9
hours per night.
I listened to an interesting talk from a sleep specialist
who stated that two of the tell-tale signs that you’re not getting enough sleep
are the ‘3PM slump’, or feeling like you need to have more than 2 coffees to
get through the day.
Action tip: There are many ways to improve your sleep. Some of the most effective include being sure to get enough exercise in the day (but not after 6PM), cut back on caffeine after midday, and keep your room cool (16C is ideal).
Habit #5: Ignoring aches and pains until it’s too late!
This last habit is one that we’re all guilty of.
We let an ache or a pain niggle away in the background for a
few days, which then turns to a few weeks and before we know it, it’s led to a
This is actually one of the most common causes of back pain
in the clients that come to see us – they developed a separate problem (a sore
knee, for instance) which they initially ignored.
They then found that the knee problem caused them to begin
to limp, maybe just slightly, but that limp was enough to affect the lower
Often, when people come to see us with a problem like this,
their original problem has resolved… but the back pain has remained, and they
have no idea what to do about it.
Action tip: You can avoid situations like the one I’ve described above by addressing seemingly small problems early! Get advice from a qualified professional who can intervene early and stop that niggle from becoming something more troublesome.
Although this list isn’t exhaustive, the 5 habits above are some of the most common causes of the back pain that we see in our clinic.
If you’re suffering from back pain that either came out the blue or has been there for a long time and isn’t shifting, there could be a problem with your movement that is stopping it from getting better!
At HT Physio, we’re currently offering 100% free “Movement MOT’s” for a limited time only, where you can come in and get a FREE 30-minute movement assessment from a back pain expert! We’ll tell you what’s causing your back pain and we’ll also tell you exactly what steps you need to take to fix it.
If you’d like to apply for one of a very limited number of these free sessions at our beautiful Farnham clinic, click the button below and we’ll get right back to you!
I get a lot of people reaching out to me to ask about the best tips for knee pain relief. Luckily, that’s exactly what I do! Ice and heat are really useful, totally natural pain relieving methods for a variety of injuries. Today, we are going to talk about when you should use ice and when you should use heat for each different type of knee pain.
There’s no argument that modern day surgery can be a wonderful thing; it can give people a new lease of independence, mobility and relief. However, its definitely not always the best path for most knee pain.
Today, we discuss the times when knee surgery is appropriate, and when you might be better off pursuing other treatments.
Picture this: you’ve just developed back pain while doing some clearing up around the house. You tried to move a heavy box and felt something “go” in your lower back – now it’s been painful for 2 days and you don’t know what to do… One friend is saying you should rest it, while the internet is saying you need to “keep active” and “go for a walk” – what do you do??
A lot of people complain about a stiff, achy and sore lower back after they’ve been walking, sitting or standing for any length of time. We particularly see this problem in people over-50. Luckily, we’ve got the tools to diagnose and treat this issue, and we’re going to share them with you today!
Back pain can be confusing! Not all back pain is actually as a result of a genuine back problem; sometimes it can be a hip or leg problem responsible for your back pain. Today, we talk about how the hips and legs can cause back pain and how to tell where the true culprit is.
If you’ve been struggling with a nagging, achy back for any length of time, you’ll know how much it can affect just about every part of life!
Back pain is our main focus at HT Physio because we see just how much it can affect the quality of life of our clients. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way this year! This article will aim to give you 5 tips for keeping back pain at bay in 2019.
If you’re currently living with back pain, it might be the case that you aren’t sure exactly what caused it. You may have had back pain before which went away on its own and you thought it would do the same this time too.
However, if you’ve suffered from back pain for over 2 weeks and it isn’t showing any signs of improvement, it could be because of one of the reasons on this list. Read on to learn the common reasons why many of the people we see weren’t getting better before they came to see us!