NEXT week (October 5-11) is Back-care Awareness Week and a Clapham health centre at the forefront of local back-care is reminding people they can offer help within 48 hours of a GP referral.
The Junction Health Centre on Grant Road is run on behalf of the NHS by leading independent healthcare provider, Care UK.
The centre is open every day from 8am-8pm offering a registered GP practice and a walk-in centre which provides advice and treatment for general problems including minor illnesses, cuts and grazes, minor scalds and burns, strains and sprains, insect bites, ear and throat infections and other common ailments. The centre also offers a range of additional services including the clinical assessment and treatment for patients with musculoskeletal conditions affecting the lower back or neck.
Issues treated include whiplash associated disorders, stiffness and restricted movement, cervicogenic headaches, ‘mechanical’ neck and lower back pain, degenerative pain and postural-related neck and back pain.
Physiotherapist Kirshnee Pillay said: “We are able to take referrals from any GP in Wandsworth and, if the case is urgent, we can see people within 24 hours of that referral. When you have a bad back pain, you don’t want to wait weeks to be seen. Another major advantage for patients is our extended opening hours, which means we can offer appointments at weekends and up to 7.30pm during the week.”
Of course, as with all things, prevention is better than cure and Kirshnee offers the following advice to help ensure your back stays in good condition:
2. Always bend your knees and hips, not your back.
3. Learn to lift heavy objects using the correct lifting technique.
4. Carry larger loads in a comfortable rucksack using both shoulder straps, and avoid sling bags.
5. Maintain a good posture – avoid slumping in your chair, hunching over a desk, or walking with your shoulders hunched.
6. Try to take a short break from sitting every 30 minutes.
7. Quit smoking – it's thought smoking reduces the blood supply to the discs between the vertebrae, and this may lead to these discs degenerating.
8. Lose any excess weight. Use our healthy weight calculator to find out if you're a healthy weight for your height.
9. Check that your bed provides the correct support and comfort for your weight and build, not just firmness.
10. Learn relaxation techniques to help manage stress. Stress is a major cause of back pain.