News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Give your back a break this summer

Give your back a break this summer

Are you driving home for Christmas? Have you ever felt stiff or sore after driving? Wellington osteopath Martin Rooke has some tips for looking after your back on long journeys.

Martin says that we think about many things when planning a car trip, from how to fit everything in the car to what music to listen to, but we also have to plan for the fact that a car trip involves a lot of sitting. “People need to give their backs a break, especially people who spend long hours sitting during the year,” says Martin.

Back pain is common, with around four out of five New Zealanders experiencing back pain at some point. Contributing factors include poor posture, heavy lifting, driving and sitting for long periods.

Martin says that people weren’t designed to sit for hours at a time, and an easy golden rule is to increase your blood circulation while sitting. For computer users this means standing up and walking about every 15 minutes. This clearly isn’t possible when travelling by car, but there are still things you can do to help yourself.

The first thing to do is to set your car seat up to suit you. Martin says there is a myth that it is better for your back to make the seat more vertical. “A lot of people tell me that they have made their seat more upright to help prevent back pain. In fact it’s better for you to recline by around 20 degrees as it transfers some weight off your spine and into the seat” he says.

Posture is also important, and this will depend on whether your seat can be adjusted to provide support where you need it. Everyone’s back is a different shape, and a seat should ideally fit your back as snugly as your shoes fit your feet. “We don’t expect one shoe size to fit all – why should your back be any different?” says Martin.

During his twenty-five years of treating people for back pain, Martin has noticed that a high percentage of patients report that driving aggravates their back. For years he kept an eagle eye out for a good lumbar support that he could recommend, no matter their shape or size. Unable to find one, he invented Morfit Convertible. “It changes shape to fit the user – so for the first time there’s a lumbar support that fits everyone” he says.

Tips to help look after your back on your journey:
• Recline your seat by around 20 degrees and adjust the lumbar (if possible) to support your low back.
• Stop as often as possible – on a long journey try for five minutes per hour. Get out of your seat and do something active (knee squats are ideal)
• Passengers can exercise while the car is moving:
a. Without moving your feet, and with your feet flat on the floor, move your knees/thighs back and forth
b. with your feet flat on the floor, lift your heels up and down to stretch your calves
c. clench your buttocks off and on: a good strong clench should make your torso rise up by a few centimetres

For more information about pain-free driving go to www.morfit.co.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Sheep: Shearing Record Smashed In Hawke’s Bay

Three shearers gathered from around New Zealand have smashed a World record by 264 sheep despite the heat, the pumiced sheep of inland Hawke’s Bay and a year’s wool weighing an average of over 3.5kg a sheep. More>>

ALSO:

Carrie Fisher: Hollywood In-Breeding & The Velocity Of Being - Binoy Kampmark

There was always going to be a good deal of thick drama around Carrie Fisher, by her own confession, a product of Hollywood in-breeding. Her parents, Debbie Reynolds and the crooner Eddie Fisher, provided ample material for the gossip columns in a marriage breakup after Eddie sped away with Elizabeth Taylor. More>>

  • Image: Tracey Nearmy / EPA
  • Gordon Campbell: On The Best Albums Of 2016

    OK, I’m not even going to try and rationalise this surrender to a ‘best of’ listicle. Still…maybe there is an argument for making some semblance of narrative order out of a year that brought us Trump, Brexit and the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Vega, who I missed just as much as the Big Three. So without further ado….oh, but first a word from the sponsor More>>

    Emojis: World’s First Māori Emoji App Launched

    It’s here - the world’s first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer roadtrips and santa stockings, with 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world. More>>

    ALSO:

    Howard Davis: Album Of The Year - Van Morrison's 'Keep Me Singing'

    2016 was a grand year for Van The Man - The Belfast Cowboy turned 71, received a knighthood, and reissued an expanded set of soul-fired live recordings from 1973 ('It's Too Late to Stop Now'). In the game for 53 years now, Morrison's albums consistently open new windows into the heart and soul of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern music. More>>

    Review: The NZSO Performs Handel's Messiah

    Max Rashbrooke: Saturday night's performance took the piece back to something like the way it would have originally been performed when premiered in 1742, with an orchestra of 20-30 players and only a few more singers. More>>

    Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

    When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Health
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news