How to prevent and treat low Back Pain

Back Pain Self help

Relief from back pain

Some quick tips from me at pain and performance in Glasgow on back pain self help with how to  help prevent and manage lower back pain.

In preventing sports injuries, I wrote about the reasons for injuries. Over Christmas, these reasons are just as valid. Hopefully, if you follow this advice, you should stay pain-free. If for any reason you do have back pain I’ve also included some self-help tips.

If unfortunately, you do get problems; you may notice your back pain feels inflamed or bruised. Your muscles may feel stiff, or they could spasm. If this post doesn’t help I will be open between Christmas and New Year


Sitting slumped on the sofa watching TV. With the advent of bingeing on box sets and the extended time we have over Christmas watching them I expect to see an increase in back pain patients in the new year. This increased sitting can make the muscles and ligaments at the base of the spine feel as if they’ve been stretched leading to the sensation of stiffness and pain.

There are a few ways to stop this happening in the short term.

Make sure you support your low back. Use a cushion to stop the unsupported curling and stretching at the bottom of your spine.
Shorten the time spent sitting. Sitting isn’t bad, but sitting in the same position for too long maybe. The answer for this is to take breaks from sitting. Get up and do something else. Make a cup of tea (it doesn’t have to be a long break).

I discuss longer-term prevention strategies to low back pain during treatment sessions and exercises that may help


An example of misuse that appeared in a newspaper a few years ago was lifting the turkey out of the oven while bent over. (A quick note here. In over 20 years of specialist back pain treatment, I hadn’t seen anyone who’d hurt themselves lifting a Turkey until Christmas 2016.)
Back pain from lifting is often more likely if you’re not used to lifting, or if you never lift with a bent back. The tip here is “Lift properly”. Bend your knees rather than your back and keep the weight as *close to your body as possible. It may also be a good idea to say, when lifting the turkey, don’t keep the oven tray too close. I find burns last a lot longer than back pain.

This type of pain often feels sharper, but it is vary rare that any damage occurs. Even though you may not feel like it, movement is often the best way to start getting pain back under control.

New use, Overuse and Abuse

I’m placing these three together and aiming this at people with games consoles. With the advent of Wii and Xbox Kinect, and now the Nintendo Switch people may find that they are doing movements they’re not used to (New use). Or a competitive nature might keep you playing on to beat your top score or get even with your partner (overuse and abuse). While the technology and the games may have advanced, the same conditions exist .

Advice here;

  • Take frequent breaks, and vary the task
  • Vary the type of game you’re playing (different actions)
  • Don’t play “winner stays on”.

I really do hope you have a great break and that you won’t need any help or advise from me, but if you do or you’re not sure that if  I cam help , then try one of my 15 minute assessments.

Disclaimer: All the information contained within this post should never take the place of a qualified Medical Practioner. In the Scotland NHS24 will be available over the Christmas period. I can also be contacted through E-mail or

2 Responses

  1. i have been going to see daniel and there has been a great improvement in my health the reason i first went was the pain in my neck and shoulders and the severe headaches i was suffering there has been a vast improvement in both

  2. Great set of tips. As a web designer by trade and a needleworker by hobby, I seem to spend most of my time sitting in a chair hunched over tiny squares of colour. We are often our own worst enemies where back pain is concerned!

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