Here are my top tips to keep your back fit and healthy and prevent recurrent back pain problems. Thank you for reading! Bronwen Henley, Chiropractor (MChiro, LCC)

1) Do not bend to lift anything within the first hour of getting out of bed in the morning. This is when your discs are at their most vulnerable. Overnight they change shape due to the forces of gravity and need some time to settle once you are upright again.

2) When lifting items from below waist level always ensure you are face on to the object as the most common cause of disc injury is bending to lift then twisting the waist. Firstly lightly brace your tummy and make sure that you bend from your knees. If you need to twist to put the item down then pivot on your feet to avoid twisting the spine.

3) Protect your spine by strengthening your core muscles. These are the muscles deep within your abdomen. If you subscribe to my emails I will update you regularly on easy exercises to strengthen these muscles. If you aren’t sure about implementing exercises unsupervised then attend a Pilates or Yoga class. These both have good evidence for preventing and reducing low back pain alongside manual therapy. Ask your friends to recommend a good teacher or do some research on whether the teacher specialises in back pain health and go along to a class.

4) Eat healthily. A healthy balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and proteins especially fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel decrease the bodies inflammatory reactions and increase the bodies ability to heal. Processed foods have the opposite effects. If you don’t like fish then try a good quality omega 3 supplement contact me if you wish me to recommend a good quality brand.

5) If you do suffer from an episode of back pain leave it a day or so as the majority of back pain resolves on its own. However if you find that after a day or so it isn’t getting any better or is still extremely painful go see your chiropractor straight away. Earlier is better than later as should respond more quickly to chiropractic care and be easier to treat. The longer it is left the more likely that it is to become a chronic problem for you.

6) If in doubt talk to someone. Bristol Chiropractic Clinic offer a free 15 minute consultation to discuss whether chiropractic treatment can help with your back pain. Discuss your case with your chiropractor to help you decide whether chiropractic care can help you.