Around two-thirds of us will experience lower back pain at some point in our lives, and this is certain to be exacerbated by the increase in working from home, which sees people typing away at all kinds of unsuitable desk set-ups (often not involving actual desks).
While severe or prolonged back ache should definitely prompt a trip down to your GP, often little niggles come up that can be soothed with simple stretches and movements – and one of these is proving particularly popular on TikTok right now.
TikTok is not just about teenagers gyrating around their kitchens you know – there are also proper experts on the social media platform, including physiotherapist Dr Susie Spirlock, who has shared a video of herself demonstrating a stretch that followers claim has given them instant back pain relief.
It’s called a quadruped T-spin thoracic rotation, which sounds very fancy, but is actually a simple movement you’ll probably have done in a gym class before. Essentially, it involves going onto all fours on the floor, then bending one arm so your hand meets your temple, before rotating your body in the direction of the bent arm. Watch below and that’ll all make sense:
She just needed a little movement & rotation is all! @dr.susie.squats #upperbackpain #upperbackpainrelief #thoracicmobility #backpainrelief #shoulderbladepain #fittok #physicaltherapytiktok #loopvideo
Dr Susie’s followers were definitely impressed with the move, with one saying ‘THANK YOU!!! That’s been the WORST for days! Literally Boom, she gone.’ Another said: ‘Omg just did each side once and I feel reborn’.
Still feeling tight? Dr Claire Bailey has some more tips for relieving mild back pain:
- Keep moving, carefully at first.
- Keep checking your posture.
- Take simple painkillers, such as ibuprofen, if needed. Stronger opiates are no longer recommended as they are addictive.
- Use anti-inflammatory creams or hot or cold packs.
- Deep breathing can help you find a comfortable position.
- Find ways to reduce stress, such as meditation. This is important as often it’s the fear of pain that makes people freeze up. Stress also reinforces the problem by sensitising your pain receptors. ‘The more stressed you are, the more pain you feel, as it ratchets up the volume control on pain sensors,’ says Jamie.
- For simple exercises to help with lower back pain, visit uk/live-well/exercise/lower-back-pain-exercises.