An average of 2.5 million people in the UK suffer from back pain every day - check out these 5 common mistakes that could be making it worse.
1. You're not exercising properly
Although it can be tempting to throw yourself into new exercise with the enthusiasm of a small puppy (which is awesome, we love you guys) you've got to remember to do it safely. Over-training and not training with correct form are both prime culprits for back pain. Invest in a Personal Trainer to show you the ropes and if you're strength training then start with bodyweight exercises.
2. You're sitting down too much
The office workers amongst us will find themselves sitting down. A lot. Add in poor posture and you've got a recipe for disaster. Make sure your desk in set up correctly or think about using a standing desk for part of the day.
3. Your bag is way too heavy
Guilty of carrying everything but the kitchen sink in your handbag/gym/man bag? Stop it. Carrying an extra load more than 10% your body weight ruins your posture, throws your body out of alignment and long term "heavy bag holding" can even cause your muscles to become overdeveloped on one side of your body. Lighten the load, switch shoulders periodically, or even consider switching to a backpack.
4. You're not exercising enough
Bringing a whole new meaning to our favourite phrase "Move More, Live More" a study from the University of Sydney has found that exercise reduces the risk of repeated low-back pain in the year following an episode between 25 and 40 percent. Try exercises that help improve core strength for maximum benefits but whatever you do , just keep moving!
5. You're neglecting stretching
Do you habitually skip stretching in favour of an extra 15 minutes working out? If the answer is yes, you need to start dedicating more time to stretching (especially those hip flexors!) and foam rolling. Yoga is also a great addition to your routine to help improve flexibility.