Tips for a healthy back

The Physiotherapy Centre at Holy Cross Hospital in Haslemere is supporting this year’s national back care awareness week, which runs from 6 to 12 October. The week is organised by the charity BackCare and the 2014 campaign aims to put the spotlight on the prevention of back and neck pain among office workers.

For a limited period, The Physiotherapy Centre is offering office-based workers a chance to receive a free place on one of their hydrotherapy or gym-based back care classes. Details about how to apply can be found on the Centre’s website at

Karen Ford, Physiotherapist says: “It is estimated that eight out of ten people will be affected by back pain at some point during their life. Preventing sick leave because of back pain is something that is in the best interests of both employers and employees. Many of the causes of back pain are preventable so we want to spread the word about how people can keep their back mobile, strong and in good working order.”

Neck and lower back pain are the most common types of back pain. Poor posture, slouching and using a computer for prolonged periods of time are typical causes of discomfort.

Karen adds: “Keeping mobile, avoiding twisting and bending movements and living well are just some of the necessary ingredients for a healthy spine. Quite a few back and neck problems are caused by sitting incorrectly at a desk for long periods of time. It is so important that people make sure their workspace is right for them, particularly if they share a desk or are in the habit of perching on the sofa with their laptop or a chair that cannot be adjusted.”

The Physiotherapy Centre has put together a selection of useful links, which include videos on how to sit when using a laptop, diagrams showing how to carry out a workstation assessment and some back stretches. The advice and tips can be found on our back care web pages.

Anybody suffering from back or neck pain should consult a GP or a professional for advice before seeking to self-diagnose or treat.

Caption: The photo shows members of the physiotherapy team demonstrating a back stretch exercise. Pictured from the back to the front are: Megan Gillbard, Ramakrishna Gundapudi and Manuela Maxwell.