Jodie Kidd: How you can cope with crippling back pain
Published 19/05/2014 | 02:30
My number-one tip to prevent backache is to wear supportive shoes.
I've always felt self-conscious about my height. I grew seven inches in one year and used to stoop at school, which triggered my back issues. Aside from wearing high heels all day, and contorting my body into peculiar positions during photoshoots, modelling has been beneficial for my posture. From walking and posing with a straight back, I am now more aware of what it feels like when my spine is properly aligned. Get in the habit of noticing your posture, especially when you are sitting for a long time. Ask yourself, 'Am I engaging my core? Is my back straight? Are my shoulders relaxed and aligned with my ears and hips?'
Regular exercise is an excellent way of preventing back pain. I love to play sports. Horse riding and racing cars are my whole life, but, with the lifting of hay bales and sitting in cramped spaces, they are not the best activities for a bad back. I do Pilates, which increases core muscle strength – more so than yoga – as well as flexibility. If you are a runner, like me, I advise being fitted for an insole at an orthotics clinic, which will support your body and prevent pain. Never ignore back pain to continue exercising. I have the Simplyhealth BackCare app on my phone, which provides stretches for relief.
My number-one tip to prevent backache is to wear supportive shoes. I can't always in my job, as I usually have to wear five-inch Jimmy Choos, but I carry a pair of Ugg boots with me to put on whenever I can. Prevent cold-weather backaches by keeping your muscles warm – wear layers and carry a thermal vest in your handbag. Quick movements are more likely to cause injury in the cold, so, when I am working on my farm in winter, I wear a thick Canada Goose jacket that my father gave me for Christmas.
Try the alternatives
Now that I am getting older, I like to use natural remedies, which I buy from Ainsworths, and holistic treatments. Reflexology can soothe everything from osteoarthritis to day-to-day muscle ache – after a hectic London Fashion Week, I see Leeann Roots at Haslemere Complementary Therapies in Surrey. An acupuncture session reduces inflammation, releases endorphins and provides quick relief on a bad day. Don't wait for an injury before visiting a professional – book an appointment after a stressful week.
Invest in a bed and bedding that feels comfortable. Lack of support from your mattress or pillows reinforces poor sleeping posture, which can strain your muscles. Practise a calm routine before bed. I run a hot bath with Aching Muscle Super Soak by Elemis and massage White Camphor Oil on to my back to soothe any muscle inflammation. Being relaxed promotes peaceful sleep.
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