While back injuries can be caused by falls and accidents, sometimes all it takes is a shopping bag that’s a bit too heavy or an awkward twist. Keen to avoid the pain of a preventable injury?
Here are four simple suggestions worth taking on board.
1. Lift safely
Whether you’re repositioning furniture at home or moving boxes at work, knowing how to lift things safely is one of the best ways to protect your back. According to the NHS, these are the key principles to follow if you want to remain injury free.
- Create a wide base of support by standing with your feet spread apart and one leg slightly forward. This will also help you to keep your balance, although you might need to move your feet to maintain stability.
- Bend your knees and keep your upper body upright, so that you’re using your legs to lift.
- Hold the object you’re lifting close to your waist, as this will help you to grip it firmly.
- Avoid twisting your back or leaning to the side when you’re bending to reach an object. If you need to turn, move your feet instead.
- Try not to jerk as you lift as you’re more likely to hurt yourself if you do.
- Don’t try to adjust an object while you’re lifting it. If you do need to reposition it, wait until you’ve put it down.
2. Strengthen your support muscles
As well as helping to prevent injuries, strengthening the muscles that support your spine will improve your flexibility and your posture. The following three exercises come highly recommended, although you should always start with just a few repetitions, especially if you’re new to exercise. 
1. The hip bridge
Lie on your back with your feet hip width apart and flat on the floor. Keeping your knees bent, squeeze your buttocks and lift your hips as high as you can. Hold this position before gently lowering your hips.
2. The lunge
Start by kneeling on one knee with the other foot in front. Looking straight ahead, lift your back knee up and push your hips forward. Hold this pose for five seconds.
3. The spine stabiliser
Kneel on all fours, keeping your back straight and your tummy tucked in. Keeping your pelvis level, raise one arm in front of you and hold this position for ten seconds. You should always avoid rotating your body during this exercise. Once you’ve mastered it, why not take it to the next level by raising a leg behind you instead?
3. Consume calcium and vitamin D
When it comes to keeping your spine in excellent condition, calcium plays a key role, as it helps your bones to stay strong and healthy. To make sure that you’re getting enough, the NHS recommends eating plenty of calcium rich food including:
- Milk, yoghurt and cheese
- Soya milk with added calcium
- Sardines and pilchards
- Tofu with added calcium
- Breakfast cereals with added calcium
- Green leafy veg including kale and okra
- Bread made with fortified flour
Vitamin D is equally important, as it enables your bones to absorb the calcium you consume. However, your skin can only produce enough of this crucial vitamin if it’s exposed to sunlight, so if you live in the UK, experts recommend taking a daily 10mg supplement between October and March. Why not invest in a pot of Manuka Pharm’s new Joints Capsules, which contain all the Vitamin D you need for the winter months?
Of course, it's also possible to boost your vitamin D intake by adding it to your diet. Rich sources include oily fish (such as sardines and mackerel), egg yolks, liver, red meat, fortified cereals and fortified spreads.
4. Build strong bones with CBD (cannabidiol)
As we grow older, healthy bones become even more vital, as they can help us to avoid developing osteoporosis. This condition occurs when bone density decreases, leading to weaker bones and fractures (including fractured spinal vertebrae).
While a healthy diet and regular exercise will reduce your risk, recent studies suggest that CBD could also play a key role in preventing osteoporosis. For example, a study looking at the effects of cannabidiol on the processes of osteoporosis, showed that it reduces the resorption that results in decreasing bone mass.  Scientists have also discovered that CBD has a positive impact on broken and fractured bones, accelerating the healing process.
Research into the benefits of CBD is ongoing, but the future looks promising. So, if you’re keen to give your bones a boost, why not try Manuka Pharm’s Joints Capsules, which contain our expert blend of ultra-pure CBD, essential vitamins and Manuka Honey.