A new study has found that British women are putting fashion before their health.

back-pain-posture

The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has found that 73% of women have suffered with back pain and their wardrobe could be a major factor.

Even though 28% of women are aware that clothing affects their back pain and posture, they are still not bothered by this when shopping for clothes.

Wearing skinny jeans and backless shoes, for example, can make pain worse. 33% of women were not aware at all that their clothing and accessories could affect their neck or back pain.

Tim Hutchful, a BCA chiropractor, states: “I am always surprised at how many of my patients are unaware that their clothing and accessories can affect their back health and their posture and, equally, how many decide their outfit-choice outweighs their pain.

“Some of the most popular items of clothing can have a hidden health impact. While overloaded and heavy handbags are a common culprit, some more unexpected items like skinny jeans can also wreak havoc – they restrict free movement in areas such as the hips and knees, affecting the way we hold our bodies. New trends such as asymmetric hemlines, oversized sleeves and hoods and heavy jewellery can also create problems.”

clothes-affecting-backpain

 

The study showed the Top 5 clothing culprits for worsening back pain are:

1. Skinny jeans
2. Oversized shoulder bags
3. Coats with large fluffy hoods
4. High heeled shoes
5. Backless shoes, such as mules
Tim suggests: “Try and limit the number of times you wear skinny jeans or high heels every week so you’re giving your body a break, or try investing in a backpack for days when you have a lot to carry around.”

There are lots of smart handbag-style backpacks available, such as ones like this:

posture-back-pain

Here are some tips that the British Chiropractic Association provide to help you follow fashion without your health paying the price:

• Variation is key: Wearing similar pieces of clothing every day could trigger back pain, by regularly restricting certain parts of your body from moving freely. Shift the pressure on these areas by varying the styles of clothes you wear.

• Keep it loose: Tighter clothes restrict your body from moving freely so looser clothing, such as baggy trousers, maxi skirts, or straight leg jeans, are a good choice.

• Put the bag down: Heavy handbags are a particularly common cause of back pain in women. Pay attention to the bag you carry around and regularly check for and empty your bag of unnecessary items. Backpacks are the best design for your posture as they distribute weight evenly across both shoulders, so it’s great that these are back in style. Avoid bags that must be carried in the crook of your arm, as the weight of these held away from your body pulls one shoulder lower than the other, twisting your neck and spine. If your bag has one strap, alternate the shoulder you carry it on or, if it has a long strap, wear it across the body.

• Put your best foot forward: High heels force you to hold your body in a manner which promotes tension in your spine so, if you wear high heels, counteract any potential damage by wearing trainers or shoes with a lower heel from time to time and try to choose a wedge or chunkier heel over a stiletto.

• Get the right support: Clothes are important but what you wear underneath can also affect your posture. Bras need to fit properly so that your shoulders don’t take all the strain. When shopping for bras, look for one which has an underband that is neither too tight nor too loose. Ensure that the centre-fold fastener sits close to your body and that the straps are not too tight on your shoulders. Getting a fitting at a shop (many offer this service) is the best way to get a good fit.
This research was carried out between 14/02/2017 and 20/02/2017 on behalf of the British Chiropractic Association.

 

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moving-with-back-pain

The way you move around has a direct impact on your back pain, and you might not know that you could be making things a lot easier for yourself and relieving your pain simply by changing the way you move.

When I was at school, I had an old 70s-80s Parker jacket like the one in the picture. They were very popular; everyone had them. One day I was walking to school with the hood up, as it was raining. When I got to school a classmate said she saw me on my way to school and called me but I didn’t hear. I asked her where she was and she said outside her house. Well, I knew that I didn’t pass her house directly. I would have been at least 80 feet away on the adjacent street when she saw me, and with the long snorkel Parker hood up, how could she have known it was me?

parka back pain“I could tell it was you because of your walk” she said. “Oh god – I have my own walk?” I thought. And I did. I was always late and have short legs so I walked fast with huge strides for my size.

When I since suffered back pain for nearly two decades, my walk changed. I could no longer walk fast, and I could no longer walk with huge strides. Sometimes the pain was so bad it was barely an old lady shuffle, and I didn’t even realize this until I got my old walk back again!

Once I was fit and well again and almost totally pain-free, I also noticed that my old, usual walk includes bobbing up and down – the way happy, confident people do!

Have you ever noticed? – Miserable people shuffle along, but happy people bob.

The key is firstly to stop fearing the pain. Be confident that you can walk how you want to and move in a fluid way, rather than a cautious, jerky way.

In addition to walking jerkily, many people with back pain are all tensed up when they move around, especially when they are anticipating pain and fearing it.

And when I say tensed up, I don’t mean in an obvious way where all our muscles are clearly flexed. We can still be tensed up without knowing it. Masseurs find tense spots all the time that the client didn’t know was tense.

One way we can test if we are unconsciously tensed up is to check where our shoulders are. If they are not as low as they can be, then you are most likely tensed up. When you lower your shoulders, you normally also relax other parts automatically.

Of course this tip applies to sitting or standing still as well as moving around, but if you move around while tensed up, your pain will be more severe and you will have little chance of relieving your back pain if you make a habit of this.

Have you ever spoken without moving your mouth (usually when you don’t want to be seen speaking)?

I always think that walking chronic pain sufferers are the equivalent of this. They’re so scared they will make their pain worse, they tense up, walk jerkily and ultimitely end up being in more pain.

So remember:

  • Keep reminding yourself to lower your shoulders
  • Move in a fluid way
  • Do not fear the pain

And hopefully you can walk tall, proud and happily once again.

Take care

Paula

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You might think your back pain is making you miserable, but could your back pain be because you are miserable?

I don’t just mean that your mood affects your pain, although I strongly believe that too. But when we are miserable, we are a lot less likely to see any point to doing anything ourselves to improve our situation. So we do nothing.

I found a USAtoday article today(!) about a survey that says The Older Generation Does It Best; that over 65s are happiest, and I wasn’t surprised to find it was the 45-64 age group that are the least happy people.

Why?

The middle-aged group works the hardest; some work up to 12-14 hours a day because they have families. A lot of  them have teenagers, who can be both expensive and trying! And a lot of them have chronic pain. The older ones do too, but they have learned more about what is important in life. They have also learned how to be happy, and how to look after their bodies.

A lot of poeple will not take drastic action about their health until they have had some sort of scare or bad news from their doctor, into doing so. The vast majority of us neglect our bodies. We eat the wrong things; we aren’t informed about the correct type or amount of exercise to do regularly. And even if we do know, we still don’t take action because we think we are already too busy.

Most of the responses to the article are from people who seem to think it is because the senior citizens are finacially better off. Why is everyone so obsessed with money? Happiness has NOTHING to do with money. That is one thing I do know. I have had money, and been broke while miserable and also both while being happy, and the two are not at all connected. Your attitude is what makes you happy. Only those who have learned how to be happy will ever believe this (and rich people who are miserable!) I learned how to permanently be happy while I was still £12,000 in debt (around $18,000).

The comments on the article also suggest outside influences are to blame for our happines. YOU are responsible for your health, wealth and happiness. People will always be miserable if they think the government (or whoever) is responsible for their current or future lifestyle.

So what has this got to do with chronic pain or back pain?

No matter what your situation, you can always fit in 10 minutes of exericise, twice a day. I find it so sad when people say they have no time. They also more than likely eat way too many carbs and have poor sleep patterns, so of course they have no energy. If we are more organized we can magically create an extra hour or two every day just by having more energy!

How?

Because when we have good energy levels, we need less rest (vegging out in front of the TV) and we need less sleep!

If you want to improve your situation, no matter what that is, you must start optimizing your health by making these tiny adjustments.

But most importantly, you have to have the right attitude. If you go around saying such phrases as;  “knowing my luck” or “sod’s law”, or “murphy’s law” etc. you are telling yourself life is hard before you even give it a chance!

And do you ever allow for life’s contingencies? When you know it takes 25 minutes to drive to work, and yet day after day you leave exactly 25 minutes before you need to be at work. It’s obviously only a matter of time before there will be a holdup and you will be late. Then you’ll be angry with the “idiot” who caused an accident up ahead, or the “moron” who drove too slowly. And you’ll be flustered and angry all morning and your mood will have a domino effect on everyone around you. This leads to stress, etc, etc…

I would also strongly recommend buying the book pictured above. It will not take long to read. It’s is actually designed to look like a kids’ book. And I think that helps a lot. Because let’s face it, busy people are going to be put off simply by the thought of a long, arduous read.

“Mmm, it’s probably a good book…” I hear you say.

But you’re not planning on buying it, are you?

OK, have a look at these reviews and see what you think. Or even look inside the book, as it offers that function too. Yes, some of it is common sense, but most of us are so poor at remembering to do this stuff, it is still worth a lot more than the price of the book just to be reminded of it.

I have read my copy 3 times, and some parts of it more (because I have an abysmal short-term memory). And I got it for £1.50 from a charity shop. What a steal!

Learn to be happy and thankful for the resources you already have, and the rest is easy, I promise.

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If you have signed up to my free course, you will know that it is not spine degeneration that causes your back pain, and that there are things you can do to ease your pain, no matter what diagnosis you have been given.

You will also know why back pain sufferers have lots of other types of temporary pain too. While I was out walking the dog this morning, I was reminded of just how easy it is to eliminate these temporary types of pain – within minutes.

The cause must be related to the fear thing because they always used to last all day – or a few days or weeks – when I worried about them, as I did before I realized what was going on.

When you are out walking about, and have pain, such as foot pain or knee pain, you might be tempted to adjust your gait (the way you walk) or adjust how you distribute your weight, in an attempt to ease the pain.

But I’ve found that if you try and just walk normally, and ignore the pain, the pain goes a lot quicker.

I cannot stress that enough. It’s happened time and time again. It can’t be a co-incidence.

In fact, if I’ve not got people around me I actually play a little game; I pretend that I’m somewhere important, and that I can’t appear to be hobbling about; I’ve got to look professional and dignified, and then I walk in an appropriate way, which would be as normally as possible – even though I’m in pain.

And the pain goes. Within minutes. It really does work.

(If I have got people around me, then it’s even easier to pretend I can walk normally).

A few years ago when I had a bad right knee, I adjusted my gait and ended up hurting my right hip and achilles heel as well, and it still didn’t help the knee pain.

Then I realized what to do, and when it returned the following year, I just walked normally, did the gentle exercises I’ve recommended on this blog, and kept my knee warm and the pain disappeared within a few days.

If you allow the pain to take over, you will walk abnormally for a long time; your pain will worsen and your mobility will deteriorate. Try to nip this behavior in the bud now, and maintain your previous level of fitness.

 

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As Your Fear Grows, So Too Will Your Pain

Thumbnail image for As Your Fear Grows, So Too Will Your Pain

Do you associate a particular activity with back pain? Or other chronic pain? Perhaps every time you walk, you have pain. Or when you sit or stand. I found an interesting site by Eddie who does yoga. He has also discovered that the mind is responsible for a lot of your pain and for making […]

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No-one Waits for the Back Pain Sufferer

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There are many difficulties that back pain sufferers face on a daily basis. It’s not just backache people have to contend with. There are many frequent practical and social issues that arise as a result of having back pain. I just found this comedy video that I think sums up one of them. I often […]

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Keeping the Faith to Eliminate Back Pain

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A few years ago, I was still battling to control my back pain and although I had found a few things that worked, I still suffered with the pain quite a bit, so when I had the opportunity to go to an evangelist healer’s meeting, I was more than curious and felt I had to […]

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Patient’s Own Stem Cells to Treat Back Pain

stem cells back pain

There is a lot of controversy about the use of embrionic stem cells to treat a miriad of diseases, but now patients are being treated with their own stem cells and a recent case invlolves a Dallas man having been treated for back pain. As reported on WFAA.com (WFAA-TV), Neurosurgeon Rob Dickerman of Forest Park […]

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One Cause of Neck Pain – Forward Head Posture

Thumbnail image for One Cause of Neck Pain – Forward Head Posture

Have you noticed you get more neck pain than you used to? Or more headaches than you used to? One of the most common culprits for causing neck pain, upper back pain and headaches is Forward Head Posture or Forward Head Position (FHP). Forward Head Posture can also increase insomnia and breathing problems. It’s a […]

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The Right Mindset for Beating Back Pain

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Earlier today I tweeted a very true quote by Winston Churchill. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”  – Winston Churchill I see evidence of this everywhere. I meet people with back pain and other pain, and without preaching, I try to help them by telling […]

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Do THIS When Bending to Prevent Back Pain!

prevent back pain

Here’s how my clumsiness reminded me of a super little tip you can do that makes a big difference if you do it every time you need to bend down, so you can protect your back. I broke a glass this morning in the kitchen. What a clumsy clutz! So I did the old glass […]

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Don’t Increase Back Pain by Oversleeping!

oversleeping back pain

Did you know you can worsen you bad back if you oversleep? I carried out an experiment on the connection myself. More on that later. At first, I wasn’t sure if this was just me or not. But I have asked a lot of other back pain sufferers too. And they all say their back […]

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Is it Hard to Stick to a Routine for Back Pain?

back pain routine

Combatting back pain needs to have a regular routine, and consistency. But the hardest part is getting started. As I have said previously, you only need to do a few minutes of exercise every day. But when you time this exercise is crucial. It should preferably be before any kind of physical activity. The chances […]

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5 Tips to Relieve Back Pain

5 back pain tips

Back pain, lower back pain and sciatica are some of the biggest concerns of employers, as they keep millions of people off work every day around the globe. In fact most adults will suffer some type of back pain at some point during their lives. If you suffer from back pain, you may not realize […]

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Air Conditioning Is Bad For Your Back Pain

air con affects back pain

In the last post I talked about ergonomic chairs that support the lumbar spine  in the right place, but even some ergonomic chairs, still fail to keep the back warm, because they have a mesh becking. This allows cold air from air conditioning vents to pass through. While this is great when you first arrive […]

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Top 10 Ways To Prevent Back Pain When Sitting

good posture at work

Some employers are waking up to the fact that their employees need to be kept comfortable while working, in order to reduce the number of sickness days due to chronic pain; most notably Back Pain. The Oman Observer reports that staff at Omantel are being asked “Are You Sitting Comfortably?” as part of a new […]

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Does Acupuncture Work For Your Back Pain?

acupuncture back pain

My ex neighbor had acupuncture every two weeks for over ten years, and claimed it relieved her arthritis right up until her death at age 77. I peronally tried acupuncture myself about 12 years ago, and although it was relaxing and didn’t hurt at all, it did not relieve my back pain. I thought I […]

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Heavy Lifting Can Be Painless!

make heavy lifting easy

I found this video about a product, the “Leanlever” that takes all the weight when carrying heavy loads upstairs. All the other products that claim to make lifting easier only stop the user from falling down the stairs; they don’t really take the weight of the load. This is the only one like it as […]

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Prevent Back Pain When Driving

prevent back pain driving

Long car journeys can play havoc with your back, especially when you suffer from chronic pain. The American Chiropractic Association has made some suggestions on how to relieve back pain while driving your car: Adjust your seat so that you are comfortably sitting close to the wheel, with your knees slightly higher than your hips. […]

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Climbing Therapy for Low Back Pain

climbing for back pain

Chronic Low Back Pain has been said to improve after climbing therapy, compared with non-climbing, standard exercise, a new study claims. May 15’s issue of Spine journal, published that Munich, Germany’s Technical University’s Kai Engbert, Ph.D. and Michaela Weber, tested the effects of therapeutic climbing, and they assessed how it compared to other types of […]

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