Whatever your age, see below hints and tips from the British Chiropractic Association for maintaining a healthy posture:

Sporting Teens:

• When playing sport at school it’s a good idea to take care of your back even at this early age. As with any exercise, you need to warm up first. Don’t go straight into it; start with lighter movements like walking or jogging to lessen the chance of muscle strain. If you are exercising, why not throw in some stretches and exercises specifically designed to strengthen your back? Please contact us by including your email address for an exercise sheet

According to a recent research report published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood which looked to investigate whether backpack weight is associated with back pain in children, 50% of children carrying heavy back packs had a higher risk of back pain.

• CHECK IT! This makes it really important to check a child’s school bag every day to make sure they are only carrying the things they need for that day. Also, make sure your child is using a backpack and ensure they wear it correctly; both straps on and tightened so the back pack is snug up against the whole of the back.

Trendy Twenties:

At this time in life we may find we are slaves to fashion. 2011 research from the British Chiropractic Association revealed that two thirds of men (66%*) have suffered from back pain. According to the study, three in five (60%*) men carry some sort of man bag. These man bags come in all shapes and sizes – from the traditional over-the-shoulder laptop case, to messenger bags and satchels.

• Lighten your load and try to carry any weight over both shoulders to prevent any strain on your back muscles.

Career Climbing Thirties:

At this time of life people are contending with long working hours and parenthood which can both be detrimental to back health!

• If using a laptop, don’t sit in the same position for long periods as you are looking down onto the screen with your head unsupported. Rest the laptop on a table not on your lap, arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.
33% of people in the UK aged 25-34 and 43% aged 35-44, surveyed in 2011** stated that neck or back pain prevents them from sleeping.

• Check that your mattress is giving you the support you need. When lying on your side, your spine should be in a straight line. The key thing when buying a new mattress is to TRY TRY TRY out as many as possible to find the right one for you.

Slow Down Forties:

It’s time to be aware of the initial signs of ageing. Ensure you keep active, as a sedentary lifestyle is the enemy of a healthy back. 44% of people in the UK between the age of 45-54** claim back pain prevents them from playing sports.

• It is important to take care of any back problems you develop. Mild strains can be handled by –staying gently mobile and using ice on the painful area. If problems persist, contact one of our Chiropractors at the Belfast Chiropractic Clinic who will advise you further

• Muscles and joints are designed for movement where possible walk and exercise to keep fit. All movement and exercise will improve muscle tone, improve circulation and posture.

Get-Fit Fifties:

At this time of life our fitness levels wane. 51% of over 55 year olds* are currently suffering from back or neck pain, but could find this may be relieved with some light exercise.

• Try to take up a new sport which will give gentle exercise whilst keeping you moving and flexible.
• If you drive around rather than walk or cycle, follow as we are all different shapes and sizes, make sure you adjust car seats, head rests and steering wheels to meet your individual requirements. This will not only improve your comfort in the car but also your safety.

Sixty ++

There is no upper age limit or lower age limit to have chiropractic treatment! The youngest patients we have seen have been less than a week old and we have just helped our eldest patient celebrate her 90th birthday!

Whichever age bracket you are in, take action to make the best of life by keeping your back health in check.

*British Chiropractic Association research from January 2012, conducted by Atomik
**British Chiropractic Association research of 2,000 respondents carried out in January 2011