Prone to Back Pain?

Prone to Back Pain?

9 September 2018

Do hours in the traffic make it difficult to walk, stand, or even lie down? Or, maybe you frequently wish that you don’t have to feel the gardening from the day before …

Well, as of right now, you’re in good company; 4 out of 5 South African’s suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives. In fact it is a problem for 540 million people globally and is one of the most common reasons for missing work.

We lift heavy boxes, carry shopping bags, and hunch over our desks without giving it another thought; it’s part of daily life, right? But thing is, our bodies are not designed for this. 56% of people with lower back pain comment that symptoms disrupt their daily routines, including sleep and sex. Talk about a pain in the … back!

A recent article in the medical journal, The Lancet, commented that the treatment prescribed for back pain is often a waste of time and that significant health resources are being wasted. The article details the overuse of inappropriate treatments stating that a high proportion of patients are treated in emergency rooms, encouraged to rest and stop work, are commonly referred for scans or surgery, or are prescribed painkillers (including opioids).

Most back pain is the result of simple strains or sprains and the prognosis is excellent. Scans are rarely needed, and bedrest is not helpful. There is strong evidence that keeping active is important in recovery. In fact, prolonged bedrest is associated with higher levels of pain, greater disability, poorer recovery, and longer absence from work.

According to Todd Sinett, co-author of The Truth About Back Pain, some seemingly insignificant everyday habits can take a big toll on your back over time.

Fortunately, adopting a preventative attitude can minimize your risk of experiencing back pain.

We have a few tips:

Maintain a healthy weight.

Avoid sitting for too long. Make sure that your office chair and desk are ergonomically aligned to support your back. Sit with your feet flat on the floor or on a footstool and stand up and move every half hour.

Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Sleep on your side with your knees bent towards your chest. Invest in a supportive mattress as well as a pillow that promotes proper alignment of your neck.

Bend your knees instead of your waist when lifting objects. Keep your back straight.

Avoid carrying heavy sling bags, carry loads in a rucksack.

Remain active. Start by going for short walks. The benefits are plentiful, including strengthening of the core muscles, increased circulation to the tissues around the spine, improved flexibility and the release of endorphins which is the body’s natural pain reliever.

Only wear heels on special occasions.

Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.

Pay attention to the warning signs. If you experience pain and discomfort for more than 5 days, it’s time to see a doctor.

Prevention is the best medicine.

Take care of your back by changing bad habits into good ones.


Call us on 0860 002 153, follow the prompts to the Disease Management Programme and select the “Conservative Back and Neck Rehabilitation Programme” or send an email to to see if you qualify for participation in this programme.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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