What are the Things You Shouldn't Be Doing if You Have Back Pain in Los Angeles, CA

Even though most Americans experience back pain at one time or another, it’s not something you have to accept as a regular part of your life. Often, recurring or lingering spine-related discomfort is related to some things you’re doing on a regular basis that aren’t so spine friendly. To point you in the right direction, here are seven things you’ll want to stop doing if you happen to be living with back pain.

1. Putting Exercise on the Back Burner

You may opt to be less physically active because of your back pain, but your spine can actually benefit from regular exercise. Whether you prefer to walk for 20–30 minutes a day or gently work your core muscles in a heated pool, exercise can ease your back pain by:

  • Strengthening spine-supporting muscles
  • Reducing stress placed directly on your spine
  • Keeping your weight within a normal range

2. Relying on Meds Too Much

Passive pain relief methods such as taking over-the-counter pills won’t address the underlying source of your back pain. Stop relying on meds, and use them only for temporary relief from pain and inflammation until you can receive a proper diagnosis.

3. Smoking

Tobacco products contain thousands of chemicals, most of which aren’t good for the tiny blood vessels that deliver nutrients to the various parts of the spine. Smoking also contributes to the weakening of the spongy discs that cushion the spinal bones.

4. Diagnosing Yourself

The Internet can be a wonderful tool for finding health-related information. However, symptom checkers and other online resources can’t provide a completely accurate diagnosis for your unique situation. An in-person visit to your doctor or a spine specialist is still the most effective way to find out what’s going on with your back. For example, you may have a pinched nerve that can be relieved by a minimally invasive surgical decompression procedure, such as a lumbar foraminotomy. Los Angeles residents should see a spine specialist about any recurring instances of back pain.

5. Being Unaware of Poor Posture Habits

Certain movements or positions could be contributing to your back pain or aggravating your symptoms, even if you’re not fully aware of it. Start doing regular posture checks to identify positions or movements that aren’t good for your spine. Common posture issues include:

  • Slouching or not sitting properly in your chair
  • Leaning forward or to one side or the other too much
  • Not keeping your head aligned with your shoulders as you walk or sit
  • Overusing the muscle groups that directly or indirectly support your spine

6. Having a Negative Mindset

If you constantly think nothing you do is going to relieve your back pain, you probably won’t respond well to treatment. A negative mindset could also affect you physically if it keeps you from fully participating in physical therapy sessions or making lifestyle adjustments suggested by your doctor. If this applies to you, let your doctor know so both the mental and physical aspects of your back pain can be addressed.

7. Hoping Your Back Pain Just Goes Away

Spine-related aches and pains that disrupt your daily life for several weeks or months are not likely to simply go away. The sooner you find out what’s really going on with your spine, the more likely it is you’ll receive a treatment plan that provides welcome relief. If the problem is recurring, talk to your doctor or a Los Angeles spine surgeon to get an accurate diagnosis.

If you’re experiencing sudden, severe, or chronic spinal pain, reach out to the industry-leading spinal health experts at The Spine Institute for diagnosis and treatment. To schedule an appointment, give one of our friendly representatives a call at 310-828-7757 today.