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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Back pain is a serious problem. If you’ve ever experienced it, you know it can stop you in your tracks. It is the fifth most likely cause of hospitalizations and the third highest reason for surgery. Yet, we do so many things throughout the day that can cause back pain without even thinking about it.

Prevention listed 14 habits that are causing back pain. With some simple modifications, you may be able to alleviate back pain or skip it altogether.

  1. You spend a lot of time at your desk.  Many of us are guilty of this without even realizing it. Sitting causes 40% more pressure on your spine than standing. That’s significant. When you’re working on your next deadline, remember to take proper stretching breaks. Sitting at a 135 degree angle can alleviate tension also.
  2. You spend a lot of time in the car. Like sitting at your desk, driving can also cause us to slouch. You can do your back a favor by moving your seat up closer to the steering wheel and sitting at a 90 degree angle.
  3. You aren’t at the gym regularly. If your back hurts, it’s hard to motivate yourself to get to the gym. But, frequent walks can help alleviate stiffness.
  4. You don’t do yoga. It’s the best exercise for your back! Yoga helps increase circulation which can help alleviate lower back pain. Yoga classes are seemingly everywhere. Check out your local recreation center or watch a video online!
  5. You do a lot of sit-ups. They may target your core, but they don’t help your back. Actually, sit-ups and crunches can cause your back to curve in a C shape. You don’t have to give up crunches, just do them slowly and make sure to include activities that help stretch out your back as well.
  6. You’re not a fan of eating healthy. Research shows that those who suffer from chronic back pain are more likely to have clogged arteries to their spines. A diet low in caffeine and processed foods and high in whole grains, soy, nuts and seeds, protein, vegetables, and fruit can help address this issue.
  7. You carry everything in your purse. Carrying several pounds in your purse is putting that pressure on your shoulder and back. The American Chiropractic Association advises that your purse weigh less than 10% of your body weight. It is also a good idea to switch arms when carrying your purse.
  8. Your mattress is old. The National Sleep Foundation recommends if you suffer from back pain, to change your mattress if it is older than 5-7 years old. People sleeping on medium-firm mattresses report an improvement in their back pain.
  9. Your bike needs an adjustment. Biking is a great form of exercise, but if your bike doesn’t properly fit you, it can cause you to slouch and have back problems.
  10. You have a thing for high heels or flip flops. Both types of shoes cause added pressure on the spine. High heels cause your back to arch. Flip flops can cause your foot to move from side to side because of the lack of support. You don’t have to ditch the fancy shoes, just don’t wear them ALL the time!
  11. You ignore the pain. You can’t ignore back pain. The issue needs to be addressed or it will get worse. Thinking about your pain can help you address the problem and find way to cope and heal.
  12. You are angry. It’s true! A lot of us carry our anger in our lower back. While your mother-in-law may be a pain in the back, make sure she isn’t causing you to have your own!
  13. You are stressed. Just like anger, we can carry stress in our backs as well. Stress can cause us to clench up. And this is not healthy for your back. Find things you enjoy and are relaxing that take your mind off your stressful day.
  14. You watch a lot of TV. Just like sitting at a desk all day can cause pain, the same thing can be said about sitting around the TV for long periods of time. It’s important to get up and stretch. And maybe go for a walk to help alleviate stiffness.

Have you ever had back pain? How do you deal with it? Please share your tips.

H/T: Prevention

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