Many people believe that back pain is the result of laborious activities like lifting heavy objects on a day to day basis. While this may cause back pain, there are many everyday actions that put additional strains on muscles, bones and nerves resulting in back pain or discomfort. If you experience chronic back pain, The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration asks that you consider the following small and unsuspecting habits that may be contributing to the problem.
Wearing Bad Footwear
Most women have heard that wearing spiked high heels can lead to back problems, but the problem of poorly fitting footwear can affect men. Purchase footwear that provides support for the entire foot to help keep your spine in healthy alignment to prevent pain.
Carrying Heavy Bags
Although the warning against carrying heavy bags has usually been applied to women and their oversized purses, the age of the laptop has brought this concern to men, as well as students of all ages. Whenever possible, use a hand-carried bag and switch sides frequently to prevent strain on the back muscles and nerves.
Sitting For Long Periods
If you have a desk job that keeps you in your chair for long hours, you are putting significant strain on your back. Leaning at a 135-degree angle can help relieve stress on back muscles. Also, get up and stretch frequently to prevent strain and make sure that you have a good desk chair that provides lumbar support.
Neglecting Daily Exercise
Regular exercise is the single most critical measure you can take to keep your back functioning well. This habit can be particularly important for those who are seated at work for a majority of the day and well as those who have long commutes to work.
A Bad Mattress
Mattresses generally last 8 to 10 years but as you age, you may need a new mattress that offers better back support. So how do you know if you need a new mattress? A good rule of thumb: If you wake up in the morning with some low back pain and can stretch and get rid of it in 20-30 minutes, you’re likely sleeping on a mattress that is inappropriate for your specific needs.
Give up the junk food for lunch and concentrate on eating whole-grains, lean meats, fish, leafy greens and omega-3 fatty acids to help your back structures get the nutrition they need.
Holding A Grudge
Duke University Medical Center found that people who use forgiveness experience fewer aches and pains, including back pain. Learn to apply forgiveness to negative situations to increase your back health.
Not Managing Stress
Stress is notorious for causing tension in back muscles. Over time, this muscle tension can lead to increased pressure on nerves, causing chronic pain. Increase your ability to manage stress with exercise, meditation or biofeedback (a technique you can use to learn to control your body’s functions, such as your heart rate).
So what happens if you generally avoid all of the above habits in your day to day life and still experience back pain? You may be suffering from a more serious spinal condition that requires professional care and treatment. Find out more information about your back pain by contacting The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration at (310) 828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation. Dr. Hyun Bae, a conservative spinal surgeon, can help you determine the most appropriate course for action whether a combination of physical therapy and acupuncture or a minimally invasive spinal surgery.