Common ailments

Back pain

After many of years of working at a sewing machine, I am now suffering from lower back pain. I am also worried that hunching over my machine may have caused damage to my spine. I don’t want to keep taking pain killers and would like to know if there’s anything else I can do to help ease the discomfort I am in.

Back pain can be very painful to live with but you can rest assured that it is unlikely you have damaged your spine by working at a sewing machine. Your spine is one of the strongest parts of your body and it is very difficult to damage. Most back pain is caused by the muscles, ligaments and joints in your back simply not working as they should. Think of your back as being out of condition.

Your back is designed for movement so, when you’re not working at your sewing machine, try to stay active. Walking, cycling and swimming are great exercise for your back and you should notice your symptoms improve after just a few days of activity like this. Begin with gentle exercise such as walking at first and gradually do a little more exercise each day. Aim to incorporate a little exercise into your daily routine and keep it up even once you are feeling better. It is really important that you don’t let your back pain take control of your life. Avoid relying on pain killers for relief and don’t allow back pain to stop you doing the things you enjoy.

It is also important to avoid sitting or standing in the same position for prolonged periods. When you are working therefore, aim to get up and walk around at least once every hour.

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