Back pain prevention and management

With or without back pain it is very important to look after the spine, this article discusses a way to help manage and often prevent back pain.

Regardless of what action you would like to carry out understanding the Task, Ability, Load, and Environment is important.

Think of ‘TALE’ and work through it, here’s a brief description…


Task refers to the specific movement or action to be undertaken such as lifting, unloading at work, running, and gardening.  All tasks put stress on the body.

Ability refers to the physical attributes including any pre-existing conditions that may affect the capacity to perform the task without causing injury. Running 5k daily demonstrates the ability to run, it does not highlight the ability to lift heavy objects in the garden, at home or work.

Load refers to the amount of stress or force placed on the body during the task or activity. For example, how heavy is the table, the plant pot in the garden or washing machine you want to change.   

Environment refers to the physical surroundings in which the task or activity is performed. For example, running on hard pavement can put more stress on the body compared to running on a softer, more forgiving surface like a treadmill or a grassy field, is the area cramped effecting ability to grip or position for safe lifting, or maybe the garden is muddy with a risk of slipping.

By understanding the task, ability, load, and environment there can be a better understanding of the specific movements and conditions that may be contributing to back pain and many other injuries.

Sometimes what we do is automatic we simply do them, however a quick assessment can save you a lot of pain. It can also help you identify what you can do to improve your health. If gardening is something you enjoy then maintaining the body to handle the lifting, carrying, getting up and down is well worth the effort.

Often when injured we live with it, avoiding anything that irritates the injury or gives pain, unfortunately doing less will lead to a weaker less able body.

If you are not sure where to start, firstly get any injury diagnosed and treated, followed by a functional assessment. Understanding how well the body moves along with limitations and compensation patterns which may need addressing, helps create a treatment plan and exercise routine specific to your needs.

If you have any questions drop me a message…

Keep Well, Stay Active


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