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Back pain strikes women earlier in life than men

Women first experience back pain in their twenties, according to a new study by the British Chiropractic Association. 

back pain

Researchers commissioned by the BCA found that British women are starting to suffer with back and neck pain at the tender age of 28. The average man on the other hand won't experience problems until he's 32. 

It's unclear how many people were questioned for BCA's study but results show that the most common back pain triggers for all respondents were:

  • lifting and carrying
  • bad posture
  • sleeping/poor mattress
  • housework/DIY
  • exercise/sport/physical activities.

The results also suggested that women were more likely to experience back pain from housework, DIY and a poor mattresses, while men were more likely to experience it from exercise or sport.

Back pain can affect anyone, regardless of gender or age. However, there are preventative measures we can all take.

Learn how to lift

You don't need to be a Muscle Beach body builder to lift like a pro. With the right lifting technique you can avoid injury. Make sure your legs are hip-width apart with your knees bent as you lower yourself down to the object you wish to pick up.

Better bags

Empty your bag regularly so you're not carrying around unnecessary weight every day. Don't hang your rucksack off one shoulder and try to stay away from one-shoulder bags to avoid uneven distribution.

Have a break

Activities like housework and DIY don't have to cause you pain. Make sure you spend no longer than 20-30 minutes doing one thing. It's the repetitive movements (like painting a ceiling, or hoovering underneath things) that can cause injury with a build-up of tension.

Get a good night's sleep

If you wake up stiff or aching, your mattress may need changing. Other signs include sagging, being able to feel individual springs, or having it for over seven years. If this is the case, you may want to think about buying a new one.

For more ideas on how to protect your back at work, home and during travel, please download our free back care advice sheet.