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If you’re living with inflammatory back pain (IBP), making some changes to your lifestyle could really ease some of your daily discomfort. These small adjustments can help to relieve some of the frustrations that you experience. Although some advice may relate to short- or long-term mechanical back pain, this section of the website is primarily designed to help people with inflammatory back pain.

EVERYDAY LIFE

Sleeping, driving and shopping are just a few of the daily activities that we typically take for granted. If you have inflammatory back pain, you can minimise the disruption to your everyday life in the following ways:

  • When driving long distances, plan regular stops to walk around and stretch
  • Try ordering your groceries online to avoid carrying heavy shopping bags
  • Discuss your options for simple stretches and different types of lumbar support with your physiotherapist or qualified healthcare provider

AT WORK

Work is a common place for your back pain to give you problems. Here are a few things to consider in order to reduce problems at work:

  • Let everyone know – colleagues, your Human Resources manager, trade union and/or employer; your employer may provide occupational health services to assist you
  • It might be helpful to adjust your hours or work from home
  • Ask for a "work station assessment" if you are having specific problems with your working environment or office setting
  • Check equipment and make sure that it is safe and appropriate for you to use with your condition
  • Get advice on any benefits you may be entitled to receive

Sitting at a desk for most of the day can cause stiffness and pain in the back. Generally, it is a good idea to get up, walk around and stretch regularly, as it can relieve some aches and discomfort during the day. Standing at any time you can – for example, when you’re on the phone – may be helpful as well.

REGULAR EXERCISE

Although not a cure, conditions associated with certain inflammatory conditions may get better with regular exercise. Some types of exercise may be better for you than others. It is therefore advisable to discuss with your doctor what the most appropriate type of exercise is for your condition.

For more information on a regular exercise visit the Arthritis Research UK website

The above website is an independent website that receives no funding from AbbVie. AbbVie does not own Arthritis Research UK

TRAVEL

Trips can require a bit of planning and if you have inflammatory back pain, you may need to make some adaptations. Here are a few things to consider in an effort to make your journey a smooth and enjoyable one:

  • If flying, or travelling long distances by bus or train, ask your GP or physiotherapist for some exercises that you can do while sitting
  • If possible, get up regularly to stretch and walk around during the journey
  • Always carry the written prescriptions for any prescription medications you are taking
  • You can also ask your GP to provide you with a formal letter explaining what medications you are taking and what they are for.

For more details about a range of lifestyle tips, visit the NASS website and for a list of IBP-friendly hotels across Europe, visit the ASleep website.

The above websites and bodies are independent website and receive no funding from AbbVie. AbbVie does not own NASS.co.uk or A-Sleep.com

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BACK PAIN 
SYMPTOM CHECKER​

There are different types of back pain and it’s important to find out which type of pain you have as early as possible, so it can be managed appropriately. If you have had back pain for more than 3 months, you should complete our short Symptom Checker to help you and your doctor understand if your back pain is more likely to be inflammatory.