Are you struggling with back pain, but don’t have a clue as to what the source of it might be? Even the healthiest individuals can experience back discomfort, and the causes can vary greatly. Before jumping to the conclusion that you must have a serious condition or illness, take a look through these common bad habits that are known for causing back aches and soreness. You may be able to make changes today for a less painful back tomorrow.
#1 Sitting All Day
Do you have a desk job that requires you to be seated for five or more hours a day? Unfortunately, this might be a huge culprit for your back pain. When you are seated for long periods of time, your body naturally changes positions, and often these positions cause improper posture. On top of this, the inactivity can lead to weakness in your back muscles, resulting in further pain.
While you probably do not have the option to walk around the office while on your computer all day, try to stand up and take as many mini breaks as possible. Walk around, stretch, go fill up your water bottle as you need to.
When you are seated, keep your core and back muscles engaged by leaning back so that you are sitting at a 130 degree angle. Make sure your head is straight and not straining forward, especially when using the computer. Proper position while sitting can help to alleviate pain in the shoulders and neck.
#2 Skipping the Gym
Deciding to skip out on your workout does a lot more harm than simply expanding your waistband. Exercise builds muscle that is necessary to support a strong and healthy back. When you push exercise to the backburner, you can experience stiffness, weakened muscles, and deteriorated spinal discs.
If you haven’t been working out, now is a great time to start. Focus on exercises that will strengthen the back and abdomen. Try to incorporate stretches, or better yet, a yoga class, in order to combat stiffness.
#3 Attachment to Your Smartphone
Has your habit of checking your smartphone for notifications become more of an obsession? If so, it is probably a good idea to check in with yourself and set limits on the amount of time you are spending staring at your phone screen every day. When you are leaning down to look at your smartphone, the forward-head posture you use forces the upper spine into an over-flexed position, which compresses the spinal discs over time.
When you are at work, place your smartphone in your bag or a drawer where it is out of sight. If you do need to use it, lift the phone up to your eye level so that you are not straining your neck.
#4 Calcium Intake
It is not groundbreaking news that calcium is necessary to strengthen and support bone health. However, more and more people are choosing to go dairy free, and dairy is one of the best sources for calcium we can consume.
If you are lactose intolerant or gave up milk, cheese, and yogurt due to other issues, your bones may suffer. When bones become too soft, painful pressure factors may be sustained in the spine. To combat this, take a calcium supplement, and eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, fish such as sardines and salmon, and other calcium-rich foods.
#5 Stress Levels
When you are overly stressed, your entire body becomes stressed too, including the muscles in your neck and back, which contract and clench up. If you stress out for lengthy periods of time, those muscles do not get the chance to relax, causing serious pain.
While stress isn’t necessarily a habit, you can be proactive in order to lower your stress levels. Regular exercise, eating healthy and wholesome foods, meditation, and taking warm baths are all great starting points to begin decreasing your stress.
Whether you are currently experiencing back pain or simply want to prevent any future discomfort, it is always a good idea to check your daily habits and make any improvements you see. Not only will this help to alleviate back pain, but it can also improve your overall health and happiness in the future.