SUSPI offers free back assessments as part of National Back Week
Do you often experience back pain, or discomfort due to stiff muscles in your back?
The Stellenbosch University Sports Performance Institute (SUSPI) is offering free back assessments during the month of September as part of National Back Week, an initiative of the South African Association of Physiotherapists.
Margaret van den Heever, one of the physiotherapists at SUSPI, said statistics show that 75% to 85% of all people older than 30 will experience back pain at some point in their lives.
Tanya Green, also a physiotherapist at SUSPI, said 12 people came to see them this week for a free back assessment, and they hope that the numbers will increase.
The most common problem they’ve identified is pain caused by bad posture, or pain as a result of an earlier injury or accident or due to long hours in front of a computer or in a car.
“This causes imbalance (the muscles are either stiff or weak) and leads to further complications and finally back pain, acute or chronic,” Green said.
People often don’t know how to look after their back/body, Green added. Other causes are weight and a lack of exercise.
The best way to prevent back pain is to make sure your work station is set up correctly in terms of the position of the chair, the desk and the computer monitor.
The physiotherapists will be able to advise you about bending in the correct way and good sleeping positions. They will also tell you about exercises that will strengthen your abdominal and back stabilisers and improve the suppleness of relevant muscles.
“Consult your doctor or physiotherapist to prevent pain from becoming constant and acute and to find out how to live a balanced and active life,” Green advised.