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Habits That Hurt Your Back

Published by Dr. Alden Clendenin

Back pain affects millions of Americans every year, which is often caused by a combination of problems rather than just one catalyst. Habits that we adopt throughout our life do not often seem like they would be the causes of our back pain, yet when you group all of them together, back pain can emerge. Following are some of the most common habits that create back problems, particularly in the lower back.

  1. Sitting

    : Do you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk all day? Proper posture is difficult to maintain all day, meaning that slouching is a common habit to get into while at work. Try to get up and stretch every half hour and invest in an office chair with lower back support. If you have a long commute to work, sit at a 90-degree angle in the drivers’ seat and keep the steering wheel close enough that you do not have to stretch too far to reach it.

  2. Avoiding Exercise

    : Oftentimes, if your back is hurting, people will skip the gym, thinking that it will cause more damage than good. However, moderate exercise will help speed up healing as long as it is not too strenuous. Taking frequent walks and practicing yoga are great exercises for back pain. Yoga has been proven to help lower back pain more than traditional exercises because it lowers stress and encourages stretching and circulation, all of which is essential for alleviating back pain.

  3. Psychological Factors

    : A main cause of back pain is stress, believe it or not. Your muscles tend to clench up when under stress, affecting your back and other body parts. If your life becomes stressful, try to set aside time to just relax. Unplug from whatever is causing stress and find something that calms you, whether it be reading, exercising, being with friends, etc., which will significantly improve your wellness. On top of stress, a big psychological factor affecting back pain is holding a grudge towards other people. Studies at Duke University show that practicing forgiveness can lead to less aches because of the connection between emotions and pain signals.

  4. Miscellaneous

    : Random habits, such as always carrying a heavy purse, wearing high heels, watching a large amount of television, and never replacing your mattress, are all factors as to why you could be having back problems. However, all of these issues are habits that can be changed. Try to keep your purse or backpack to less than ten percent of your weight, and if you have to wear high heels, bring a change of shoes for when you have to walk longer distances. Limiting your television usage to the shows you really want to watch and stretching during commercials will help, along with replacing your mattress every five to ten years.

Many habits that cause back pain are something you can change. However, if you continue to have back pain, schedule an appointment at Sports Injury Centers where our chiropractors can help you with lower back pain!

Courtesy of: Prevention

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