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publication date: Sep 3, 2020
author/source: Anne Coates

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Sitting has been exposed as the new smoking, with experts calculating it kills 70,000 people prematurely every year. Research backed by Mentholatum, makers of a range of evidence-backed topical muscle and joint products and the brains behind a public health initiative, MIND YOUR BACK, reveals that millions of people are putting their health at risk because of sitting down for too long each day.

Studies confirm that sitting for more than an hour triggers changes in the body’s biochemistry, and this alters fat and glucose metabolism and promotes weight gain. And thanks to too much sitting, our lifestyles are driving an epidemic of musculoskeletal pain, with two out of five people experiencing problems at least once a week, and four out of five adults reporting they have suffered from back pain at some time in their lives.

The Mentholatum MIND YOUR BACK data, show that over a third of adults’ experience more back pain than they did a year ago, two out of three adults (68%) have experienced pain as a result of their posture, and four out of five believe poor posture has an impact on health. Back pain, followed by neck and shoulder pain, are the issues most commonly cited by those who believe poor posture contributes to health problems.

As part of their ongoing commitment to providing topical evidence-based products to prevent and relieve back pain, Mentholatum has worked with medical and activity experts to create MIND YOUR BACK — following five simple S.T.E.P.S. (Stretch, Therapy, Exercise, Posture and Strengthening) to help manage and prevent back pain and reduce the risk of serious inactivity-linked illness.

Stretching Regularly performing the five simple exercises in the videos which take just a few minutes will help prevent and ease back pain, it will also go a long way towards reducing your risk of ill-health associated with inactivity.

Therapy when things go wrong, is the next step to staying mobile. The world-renowned Cochrane Library reports: “Heat may work by improving circulation and relaxing muscles, while cold may numb the pain, decrease swelling, constrict blood vessels and block nerve impulses to the joint.” A clinical trial in patients with acute lower back pain found that a combination of thermotherapy (warmth) and cryotherapy (cold) provides effective relief from low back pain without the side-effects associated with pharmaceutical treatments. Studies on topical analgesics have concluded they, “are effective and safe for the relief of moderately severe chronic pain attributed to arthritis, neuropathic conditions, and musculoskeletal disorders”. Mentholatum offers an unparalleled portfolio of topical therapies which provide proven relief using all three of these methods; hot, cold and anti-inflammatory therapies, and in a range of modalities, including rubs, gels, lotions, sprays and patches.

Exercise has been shown to ease non-specific lower back pain and enhance healing. It also helps head off longer term pain and mobility issues. Two out of three adults have experienced pain as a result of their posture and four out of five believe poor posture has an impact on health. Current guidelines are clear — getting mobile as quickly as possible, and keeping on the move, is the best way to relieve and prevent problems. Walking is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep mobile and increase strength.

Posture was identified as a trigger for muscular pain by two out of three adults and four out of five were convinced poor posture has an impact on health. The new Mentholatum research found that three quarters of the adults surveyed thought it was always best to sit up straight. Back pain may have more impact than we realise – people who sit with back pain are more likely to be working harder with more muscle tension than less, so that would suggest that they’re not relaxed in terms of how they’re holding their backs.

Strengthening – a long-term solution to help prevent back pain is by strengthening the back-supporting muscles which weaken over time. And a strong core provides good support for the spine. Go to MIND YOUR BACK for five exercises which are specially designed to strengthen muscles and help manage and prevent back pain.

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