10 common habits you don’t know are causing Back Pain
Back pain is a common problem everyone experiences in their life due to a number of reasons. With Backaches, it seems impossible to get going and do daily routines with ease like you used to do before.
Though, possible that your back pain is the result of age or injury, but most of the time, there are repeated, disrupting and uneasy lifestyles you don’t know are causing you back pain over the time.
From lifting heavy weights to bad postures or even the way you sleep, each is responsible for hurting your back.
As per The American Chiropractic Association, nearly 80% of the population suffers from a back problem.
Understand, a healthy back is important to live a pain-free life since it supports every single action of our body.
Take a look at these 10 common habits you might be doing for the long run back pain:
Sitting for a long time
People often assume that sitting is more relaxing for the body than standing, in fact, sitting for a long time can put 40% more stress on the spine.
However, this is somehow very tough as most people have desk jobs and deadlines make them stick to their chairs even more.
If you stay in a static sitting position all day, your joints lose lubrication and become stiff, hardly getting a chance to breathe.
Regular stretching and activity help joints to be flexible and painless. So give your body a break and walk around for 5 minutes or investing in a sit-stand desk or a chair that supports your back is also a good idea.
Not doing Exercises
While back pain can be the excuse for one not to exercise, being physically active is truly required to ensure health at all stages of life.
Muscle weakness and weight gain are the main reason for a painful back and not doing exercises or doing it with improper technique can lead to muscle stiffness and back pain.
The benefits of regular exercise is beyond weight loss. If you’re overweight, you’ll have all your body weight on the spine and doing exercises helps you to lose weight.
Moreover, regular exercise strengthens the abdominal muscles as well as the spine structure to preserve density as you age.
Go for a simple walking or something more enjoyable and low-impact exercises like – Pilates, swimming, walking, or Yoga to keep the back pain at the bay.
Wearing high heels
Wearing those stylish high heels might be a great fashion love for you, but is much damaging your back and feet.
High heels can put the added pressure on feet and its angle position forces your back to bend inward to maintain balance, which in turn, makes the spine muscles work harder and gives out of alignment posture.
On the other hand, comfy flip flops, due to its lacking support bring more stress on outside edges of the foot and lower back muscles.
One study in 2010, many women have complained about low back pain wearing high heels.
Though, you don’t have to completely sacrifice them, just don’t go for unfit, too tall shoes for a long period of time.
Rather, choose something comfortable with good arch support to your feet and keep changing on low, moderate (about 1 inch) heels on alternate days.
If you’re the one who spends hours of the day on wheels getting to and from the places, then it could be raising a pretty bad back just like sitting for hours at your work desk.
Whether you’re driving or just sitting behind, the jerk due to constant movement of vehicle can hit your back muscles.
Furthermore, hunching over a wheel as you drive can have negative impact on your postures over time, resulting in damage to disks between the spine and acute back pain.
Make sure you adjust your sit comfortable enough to sit at a 90-degree angle near the wheel and breaks so you don’t need to stretch and your back not remain in a compromised position.
Some back support cushions are also available for a comfortable drive and keep in mind to take a regular break if driving for a long time.
Lifting heavy, incorrectly
How you lift and carry objects says it all about your back. Often, severe back injuries occur when we lift heavy objects that too incorrectly.
An overstuffed object tends to throw your shoulder and spine off the balance and distress your back muscles.
The right way to lift heavy things is to bend on your knees, keep it as close to the body as possible and avoid twisting.
Additionally, as women, we used to carry every single essential in our handbag, forgetting that it can be heavy over one shoulder.
Lighten up the load in your purse, use the alternate shoulder or consider a backpack instead to equally distribute the load, with straps fairly adjusted to rest load on your hips than shoulders.
Having bad postures
Anytime you maintain bad postures, either slouching while looking at a computer screen, standing too straight, reading on the bed or leaning down to look into the phone, can contribute unnecessary stress on your back and neck.
In fact, over time, these habits of having bad postures can actually change the spinal anatomy and the way you function.
Furthermore, doing heavy household chores like laundry, dishes and even carrying shopping bags requires you to bend from the waist which again is a bad posture.
To avoid bad postures, make a conscious effort in the way you behave.
For example, bent from your knees than the waist, keep your knees slightly bent while standing, sit straight with a small pillow behind your lower back and legs uncrossed.
If required, move around and stretch out your neck, shoulders and legs to relax. This will help your spine and muscles to stay active.
Good sleep is necessary for a number of reasons as it gives our body time to heal and relax. But, how you sleep and what mattress you use makes a lot of difference.
Sleeping on your stomach can strain both your neck and lower back due to its twisted position.
Instead, use a rolled towel or pillow under your abdomen and put the head on a very soft pillow to support the natural alignment of your back. Even, side sleeping with a pillow between knees is also good.
Additionally, a good medium-firm mattress is not only good for your quality sleep but also a healthy back.
An old, very firm or very soft mattress can increase the pressure on the spine because it causes your back to twist improperly as it tries to sink into it all night.
So, your sleeping habits and whether you already have back pain can help you to choose an ideal mattress for you so you wake up pain-free with enough rest.
Having a poor diet on regular basis can trigger inflammation of the joints and lead to many back problems.
Eating more junk foods and sugary sweets spike the gastronomic level and leave your spine in pain while holding the vital nutrients out of your body.
Moreover, this type of unhealthy foods makes you gain weight, which in turn place an extra burden on your spine.
Though focusing on eating healthy foods is crucial, for not just a healthy weight and heart, but a healthy back as well.
Start eating foods that give you lean protein, calcium and healthy fats like fruits and veggies, nuts, whole grain and dairy for strong bones and muscles.
Also, limit your caffeine and sugary drinks intake to avoid inflammation. It’s advisable to drink water as recommended to keep your bones hydrated.
As if you know how smoking is harmful to our lungs and heart health, but you may be surprised to hear that it can also play a significant role in back pain.
Studies have found that smoking inhibits the blood circulation to spine discs as well as make it difficult for discs to absorb calcium, a key nutrient for healthy bones.
And, this loss of cushioning can actually increase the rate of premature disc degeneration and dehydration of the spine as well as other bones.
Due to this, your bones lose density and ability to heal after any fracture and even put you at the risk of osteoporosis, all of which can initiate a chronic back pain.
Be aware of the side effects of smoking, consult a doctor and start quitting it.
Our emotional systems have a strong reaction to our bodies. When you’re stressed, your body tells it out in the form of headaches, stiffness or joint pains.
Chronic stress or anxiety can cause your neck, back and shoulder muscles to tighten naturally and you feel the pain in those areas.
Realize that there will be stressful situations in life, it won’t go entirely. Learn to calm yourself and do something relaxing, be it through exercise, listening to music, calling a friend or reading a good book.
However, the best way to naturally let go of these feelings is to start writing a journal where you can easily convey your feelings and make it less stressful for you, emotionally as well as physically.
Freaky Thought’s upshot
Almost in every single action, whether you sit, stand or work, your back keeps you balanced.
If you’re in a struggle with back pain, making small lifestyle changes and ditching these common habits will help you improve your back health and make it strong.
Though, daily, severe back pain is not normal and if you still experience it after altering these habits, take help of Chiropractic to get on track with your healing.