What are some ways to break your bad back habits?

Many people suffer from back pain and some of these cases are caused by an injury while others are a result of aging and other factors. Regardless of what is causing the pain, learning how to avoid it can go a long way in reducing your suffering.

Back pain is a common ailment that most people will experience at some point in their lives. Although mild, the condition in itself is debilitating, affecting one's overall quality of life—and some habits can make it worse over time. Here are some of them and how you can "break off" each one. 

Prolonged Sitting

Back problems are among the most common health issues today, affecting more than half of all adults. Pain in the lower back and neck is a major complaint for people who spend a lot of time sitting at their desk. While there isn’t any conclusive evidence that proves prolonged sitting causes back pain, doctors have noticed over years that many patients were able to avoid or cure their own back pain by changing how they sit and stand during work hours.

Sitting for extended periods places 40% more pressure on the spine compared to standing, which, in turn, compresses the entire spinal column. You can break this off by standing a couple of times in a day. Make it a regular activity, much like staring away from the computer monitor at least once an hour. You can also stretch your leges and bend your knees while you ease your weight off of your seat.

Picking Up and Carrying Heavy Items Incorrectly

According to Dr. Edward Ayers, an orthopedic surgeon in Greenville, South Carolina,

“Heavy lifting is one of the most important factors in creating bad backs.” 

Incorrectly picking up heavy objects can lead to severe back pain, including carrying imbalanced loads such as a heavy briefcase, purse, or shopping back. Being mindful of your back when picking up or carrying heavy items can go a long way. 

One reason for this problem is the loss of balance when improperly picking up an object. When you bend at the waist, all the additional weight is carried by the back. The best way to carry heavy objects is to squat, hold the object tight, and then push upwards to stand. The weight is evenly distributed across the body, with the brunt of the load done by the leg muscles (calf and thighs) the buttocks and lower back.

Smoking

The most common type of back pain is that caused by muscle strain. However, there are other less common causes such as degenerative disk disease or osteoarthritis. Smoking can also aggravate these conditions and cause them to develop faster than they would without smoking.

Smoking isn't only bad for your lungs, but it can also affect your back as the nicotine you ingest reduces blood flow to spinal discs. Break your habit now by attending rehabilitation programs or find alternatives, such as chewing on gum. 

Getting Insufficient Exercise

Back pain is unavoidable if you are living in a highly industrialized country like the United States Most of the time, there’s nothing wrong with your back; it just needs some exercise.

However, most people entirely give up on exercising when experiencing any back pain, as they believe they need to do so to rest and recover. Although that's true in most cases, exercising can strengthen your lower back, and your core, preventing most issues later on. 

Insufficient Rest 

When you are experiencing back pain, it’s easy to think the problem is located in your back. However, sometimes a body part other than the spine can be causing your discomfort. For example, muscle strain or even pinched nerves can cause similar symptoms as those associated with lumbar disc herniation and spinal stenosis.

Getting enough rest is crucial for maintaining good overall health. When you lack sleep, this can take a toll on your back. That's because when you lay down to rest, the spine's discs can relax and recuperate. 

Overeating 

Overeating can be one of the main causes for back pains. To understand why, we need to know a few things about how our body works. Here are some reasons behind it: 

* Extra weight puts more pressure on your spinal disks

* Overeating leads to obesity which puts even more pressure on your spine and discs

* Increased waistline may cause another type of pain called lumbago or lower back pain

When you overeat, the extra calories is kept as fat and is stored mostly in the abdominals as long term storage, or hard fat. The longer the fat is stored, the longer it would take to lose it through a lower-calorie diet. The extra weight around the middle of the body forces the more work on the back muscles. The back muscles act as counterweight to the fat stored around the stomach. This extra work stresses the back muscles even further.

People who are overweight have a higher chance of suffering from any musculoskeletal issues, including back pain. That's why it's best to keep your eating to a minimum and follow a balanced diet. 

Excess Stress

Did you know that excess stress causes back aches? Most people do not realize this, but the reason why they experience pain in their backs is because of all that tension and anxiety. With so much stress on the body from day to day, it's no wonder that most individuals end up experiencing back pains.

There is more environmental stress in today’s society. For example, children growing up today are under more stress than adults during the 1970s. This stems from the need to succeed, peer pressures, activities, and from other social and environmental causes. Chronic stress is a dangerous condition since it can increase the risk of several chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, causing muscular tension in the back. Be proactive and lessen your stress by doing the things you like once in a while. 

Conclusion 

If you're suffering from back pain, besides getting rid of your back-breaking habits like those mentioned, seeking chiropractic treatment can help you deal with it long-term—allowing you to enjoy life to the fullest and pain-free. 

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this website, by Yentz Family Chiropractic, is for general use only. Any statement or recommendation on this website does not take the place of medical advice nor is meant to replace the guidance of your licensed healthcare practitioner. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Yentz Family Chiropractic information is and products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or provide medical advice. Decisions to use supplements to support your specific needs should be considered in partnership with your licensed healthcare practitioner.
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