Ask anyone who has ever had a bad back and they will all tell you the same thing – there are few things more debilitating then severe back pain. Once you start feeling pain in your back, you are going to be laid up for a while.
While many types of back pain can’t be stopped, often times there are certain things one can do to prevent it. Many people don’t realize it, but there are certain every day habits that could be causing back pain. Once the bad habit is identified, you can work to stop it and improve your back. Here are some normal, everyday activities that could end up killing your back.
Stress: Believe it or not, stress actually has a significant impact on back pain. When you feel mental stress, your entire body stresses out including the muscles in your neck and back which clench up. If the muscles don’t get a chance to relax, pain will continue. So work on relaxation exercises to help combat this source of back pain.
Old mattress: Mattresses have a lifespan, and for most it is nine to ten years according to the National Sleep Foundation. If it has been over ten years since you replaced your mattress, there is a high probability your spine is not getting the necessary support. This one has a simple solution – just get a new mattress that fits your needs. You should feel the difference in no time.
Big bag: Lugging around a substantial load on one side of your body will cause your shoulders to become imbalanced. This eventually imbalances your spine as well. If possible, switch to a lighter bag (the American Chiropractic Association recommends a bag no more than ten percent your body weight) or spread the weight around to two bags carried on each shoulder.
Sitting: Office workers probably already had a sneaking suspicion that their desk job wasn’t exactly healthy for them – and they’re right. Most people who sit in front of a computer all day don’t maintain good posture, and their back pays for it. Back muscles weaken and sitting puts significantly more pressure on your spine than standing does. A standing desk is a great solution to this problem, but those are not always possible. Try to sit at a 135 degree angle and make sure your head is straight while sitting at the desk. While sitting all day is not healthy, there are at least some things you can do to prevent back pain.
Long commute: Hunching over a steering wheel for several hours a day is just as bad as sitting at a desk. The bad posture kills energy levels and causes back and chest problems. It is best to sit close to the steering wheel so you don’t have to stretch your legs.
Unchecked back pain can be extremely debilitating. Don’t let your bad habits cause you agony. Pay attention to what you are doing and you’ll hopefully never have to worry about a bad back again.