Stephan Berger has been working as a registered physiotherapist for more than 20 years. In his SB SportingClub in Bielefeld he provides preventive care to patients with back problems and supports them with treatments and targeted exercises in more severe cases.
Germany has back pains – can you confirm this?
Yes, indeed. It can clearly be seen that back pain is the most frequent complaint among our patients in our day-to-day work. It appears to the same degree in younger and older people, in virtually all professions where work is done largely from a sitting position at a desk.
What are the most frequent causes of back pain?
As back pain is caused by weak back muscles, it can affect anyone who doesn’t move much in their day-to-day life. The most common causes include lack of training of these muscles and incorrect posture.
How can back pain be prevented?
Through targeted back-strengthening exercises and posture correction. Using a height-adjustable desk for office work makes a lot of difference here: it stops people staying in one position and exposes backs to different kinds of strain. Regular movement is not just important for our joints and muscles, it’s also good for our mood, as it stops us getting tired and improves our concentration.
Are there any exercises to strengthen our backs when we are at work, for example?
There are several exercises that are easy to do at your desk, such as slowly curling up and straightening your upper body, vertebra by vertebra. Another option is to carefully tilt your head to the left and to the right, applying light pressure through your hands. Turning your upper and lower body in opposite directions a little is also good.