Do you suffer from back pain? If so, you’re not alone. Back pain is one of the most common health complaints in the United States. Many people believe that their back pain is caused by a specific event or activity – like lifting a heavy object or sleeping in the wrong position. But did you know that some of your daily habits may be contributing to your back pain? This post will discuss four common habits that may be harming your back and causing you pain.
Sitting hunched over your computer all day is not good for your back. It goes against the natural spine alignment. Poor posture puts strain on your spine, leading to pain and other problems. When you are slumped over, you also strain your lower back. If you must sit for long periods, make sure to take breaks often to stretch your head and neck and remember to practice good posture.
Sleeping on an old mattress
If you’re still sleeping on the same mattress you’ve had for years, it may be time for an upgrade. A good mattress supports your back and helps keep your spine in alignment. If your mattress is more than seven years old, it’s probably time to start shopping for a new one. A good mattress can last up to 10 years, but you should consider changing your mattress every 5 to 7 years if you are not sleeping well. When picking a new mattress, pick one that is not too hard or too squishy.
Wearing high heels
High heels may look stylish, but they can also wreak havoc on your back. Wearing high heels changes how you walk and puts extra strain on your lower back. Heels also throw off your balance, which can contribute to back pain. If you must wear heels, try to limit yourself to no more than two inches and avoid wearing them every day.
Carrying a heavy purse or backpack
Do you always carry a heavy purse or backpack? If so, you could be causing strain and pain in your back and shoulders. A heavy bag causes your shoulders to be imbalanced, thereby throwing your spine off-kilter. Your bag should be no more than 10% of your body weight if you don’t want to strain your shoulders and spine. Try to lighten your load by carrying only the essentials and evenly distributing the weight between your two shoulders.
Eating inflammatory foods
Did you know that the food you eat can contribute to inflammation and back pain? Processed foods, sugary drinks, and trans fats can all lead to inflammation. To help reduce your risk of back pain, try to eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Missing yoga class
If you’re missing yoga class, you may be missing out on an opportunity to relieve your back pain. Yoga is the best kind of exercise for back pain. It can help stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back, which can lead to less pain. It can also improve circulation and lower stress levels, which can ease back pain. Yoga If you’re new to yoga, there are plenty of beginner classes available.
We all know that smoking is bad for our health, but did you know that it can also contribute to back pain? Smoking decreases blood flow to the spine, leading to disk degeneration and other problems. It can also make your bones weaker and slow down healing, and the coughs from smoking are also bad for your back. If you smoke, it’s important to quit – for your back and overall health.
Riding the wrong bike
If you love to ride your bike, make sure you’re doing it the right way. Riding with a bad posture can lead to back pain. According to research, 30-70% of riders experience some back pain because of riding the wrong bike or riding in the wrong posture. When on a road bike, the bar should be about 2 inches away from your crotch and between 3- 6 inches if it’s a mountain bike. When holding on to the handlebars, you should be able to maintain a slight bend without feeling too stretched. By making certain adjustments on your bike and posture, you can minimize the pain that comes with cycling. Also, be careful not to ride over bumps and potholes – this can jar your spine and cause pain.
Do any of these habits sound familiar to you? If so, don’t despair – there are things you can do to change them. By making some simple changes in your daily routine, you can help reduce your risk of back pain. Give these tips a try and see if they make a difference for you. And if you’re still experiencing pain, be sure to consult with a doctor or physical therapist for additional treatment options.