How can you avoid back pain

Can back pain be prevented?

Back pain is annoying to excruciating and restricts mobility. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to prevent back problems.

Anyone who suffers from back pain wants nothing more than to get rid of the symptoms. In order not to unnecessarily strain the back and to prevent pain, there are a few things to consider.

Exercises for a strong back

Exercises for a strong back

Exercise helps against back pain

The most important rule to prevent or get rid of back pain quickly is: get moving! Most people are more or less doomed to immobility because of office jobs. Our back resents this, tension and pain arise from one-sided or incorrect, rigid sitting posture. But even jobs that involve a lot of work on the back often take revenge with lower back or neck pain. On the other hand, light stretching exercises and warmth help.

Strong back and abdominal muscles, which stabilize the trunk, are particularly effective against back pain. Special exercises in back training are particularly suitable, as are endurance sports such as jogging, cycling, back swimming, walking and yoga. Bed rest, on the other hand, only makes sense in very few cases for back pain - for example after a lumbago. However, it should not take longer than a few days.

In addition to exercise and strength training, the following can also support prevention:

Back pain as a warning signal: do I have to see a doctor?

Back pain as a warning signal: do I have to see a doctor?

Correct lifting and carrying is easy on the back

There is nothing wrong with a chic handbag against one that is too heavy, but it is. When carried over the shoulder, heavy bags lead to one-sided physical strain. Tension in the shoulder, back pain and headaches can be the consequences.

The back likes backpacks more than shoulder bags

To avoid such discomfort, heavy bags should always be carried on both shoulders like a kind of rucksack. Particularly with children, it is important to ensure that they carry their satchel with two straps on their back. Children should not carry more than ten to twelve percent of their body weight on their backs.

Correct lifting and carrying technology

Lifting or carrying heavy loads cannot always be avoided. But the right technique is important and can be learned. In principle, loads should only be lifted out of the legs and carried with a straight back. The weight should also be distributed evenly across both arms or shoulders.

With regular wear, women are advised not to lift loads of more than ten kilos. The "strong" sex can take a little more: Men up to 39 years of age should limit themselves to 25 kilograms, after that only 20 kilograms are allowed for the back.

Preventing bad posture: tips and exercises

Preventing bad posture: tips and exercises

Set up your office and study properly

You can also prevent back pain from office work with the right design of your study.

  • The Office chair is optimally adjusted when the seat height correlates roughly with the height of the hollow of the knee and your thighs are horizontal when sitting or sloping slightly forward. The depth of the seat and the adjustment of the backrest are also important: When sitting, you ideally have two fingers' widths between the front edge of the seat and the hollow of your knee, while your back is in contact with the backrest. This is correctly adjusted when the lumbar pad, as the curve in the backrest is called, is at belt level and the backrest supports your back, but moves with the movements of the upper body. The armrest of the office chair is at the right height when your elbows rest loosely with your shoulders sagging.

  • Table height: The elbow height also provides a good orientation when setting the table height, the latter should end at elbow height or just below with about a hand's breadth of space between the thigh and the lower edge of the table. In short: the desk and office chair are each at the correct and back-friendly height when the lower and upper arm as well as the upper and lower leg form a 90-degree angle with the arms resting on the desk.

  • Screen: It is best set up inclined slightly backwards in front of the field of vision, with the upper edge of the screen at eye level. Frequently used objects should be arranged in the radius of the natural reach and thus easily accessible; frequently used heavy objects such as files should not be stored above shoulder height, for example.

Mattress for back problems: not too soft, but not too hard either

Back-friendly furnishings are also of particular importance to the bed and mattress - after all, we spend a large part of our lives in bed. A common misconception is that only a firm mattress is a good mattress. Rather, it is correct that the degree of firmness of the mattress must be such that pronounced body parts can sink slightly so that the spine is optimally supported and relieved. A simple test provides orientation when buying a mattress: Lie on your back on the mattress that you are looking at and slide your hand between the mattress and the cross. The mattress has the right degree of firmness when the hand can easily slip through and lightly touch both the cross and the mattress. On the other hand, if the gap between the backbone and the base is too large, it indicates that the mattress is too hard, and too small a space that it is too soft.

Heavy people need a thick mattress

The optimal mattress thickness depends on the body weight: the heavier the person, the thicker the mattress should be. If you choose a spring mattress, the most common type of mattress, it is best to ensure that the number of springs is as high as possible. Because the more springs the mattress has, the better the support function.

Correct kitchen equipment prevents back pain

Even preparing breakfast becomes an unreasonable burden on your back if the worktop in the kitchen is not the right height. If it is too low, it leads to a bent forward posture. This puts strain on the intervertebral discs, and tension in the back muscles can occur after a short time. But a work surface that is too high is also unfavorable because it increases the effort required.

The ideal height of the worktop depends on the height of the person who uses the kitchen most and should be about ten to 15 centimeters below the elbows. If you are 1.60 meters tall, for example, the worktop should be laid at a height of 90 centimeters, for 1.70 at a height of 100 centimeters and for people who are 1.80 meters tall, at a height of 105 centimeters. To compensate for the depression in the sink, it is advisable to place the sink about ten to 15 centimeters higher so that nobody has to bend down to wash up. The hob, on the other hand, is lowered in an ergonomic kitchen; this way you don't have to raise your arms while stirring and you can easily see into the pots.

Read here which diet helps against back pain.

The 13 biggest enemies of the back

The 13 biggest enemies of the back
Last update: 05.10.2020
  • Online information from the Pain Center of the German Red Cross (DRK): Back pain - What helps ?: http://www.drk-schmerz-zentrum.de/mz-wAssets/docs/downloads/rueckenschmerz.pdf (accessed 08/2019) ;
  • Online information from the NRW School Ministry: School bag: https://www.schulministerium.nrw.de/docs/Schulsystem/Schulformen/Grundschule/Von-A-bis-Z/Schultasche/index.html (accessed 08/2019);
  • Duran, M. et al .: My back coach - strong exercises for a better quality of life, Rheumaliga Schweiz, Axel Springer Schweiz AG, Zurich, 2015;
  • Information from the Professional Association for Efficient Energy Use (HEA)
  • Information from the AOK on workplace ergonomics
  • Information from the "Healthy Back Campaign" e, V. (AGR)
  • Information on the subject of back pain from Hausmed - an initiative of the German Association of General Practitioners