It’s estimated by the American Chiropractic
Association that Back pain will affect about 80 percent of us at some point in our lives.
How it often results is from lifestyle decisions and repeated behaviors that stress your body.
So, if you’re battling back pain now — or if you want to take steps to prevent an achy
back — make an effort to avoid these seven bad habits:
Not exercising. Failure to perform any exercises for the back, particularly abdominal strengthening
exercises, may lead to poor posture and increased low back pain. Good exercises for back pain
prevention include Pilates, yoga, exercise ball workouts, or other core strengthening
activities that can increase stability in the back muscles. Cardiovascular exercises
such as swimming, walking, and bicycling are also recommended, along with movements that
improve flexibility. Having poor posture. Without doubt, poor
posture can add strain to muscles and put stress on the spine. Over time, the stress
of poor posture can actually cause negative changes in the spine, including abnormal curves
like hyperkyphosis or “hunchback.” It may also lead to early onset of degenerative
conditions of the spinal joints and discs. A couple tips to help improve posture and
avoid back injuries: try to stand with your knees slightly bent, and place one foot forward
to take pressure off the lower back and reduce back strain. When sitting, keep your knees
slightly lower than your hips, and keep your feet flat on the floor.
Lifting incorrectly. Often back injuries occur when we try to lift heavy objects and
do so incorrectly. Bend your knees and use the power of your legs, keeping the weight
close to the body; keep your head down and back straight, and be sure to avoid twisting.
Being overweight. Keep your weight under control for back pain prevention. You’re more
likely to suffer from low back pain if you are overweight or obese, or quickly gaining a
significant amount of weight. Being overweight, especially in the mid-section, shifts your
entire center of gravity forward and puts additional strain on your back muscles. The
North American Spine Society suggests staying within 10 pounds of your ideal weight to avoid
experiencing unnecessary back pain. Exercise and a healthy diet can help move you toward
this goal. Smoking. Nicotine restricts blood flow to
the spinal discs that cushion your vertebrae and increases the rate of degeneration. This
loss of cushioning can cause back pain. Cigarette smoking also reduces calcium absorption and
prevents new bone growth, leaving smokers with an increased risk for osteoporosis (or
brittle, fragile bones) and slower healing after bone fractures, which can cause back
pain. Additionally, coughing from heavy smoking can cause back pain.
Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients are essential for bone strength.
If you don’t get enough calcium and vitamin D in your daily diet (your body also synthesizes
vitamin D in response to sun exposure), discuss the possibility of supplements with your chiropractor.
Being sedentary. Limiting activity as a means of pain management when you’re experiencing
back pain can be counterproductive. Activity increases blood flow to the affected area,
decreasing inflammation and reducing muscle tension. Research shows that people who continue
with their normal daily activities after experiencing low back pain may have better back flexibility
than those who rest in bed for a week. Prolonged bed rest can may also increase pain and potentially
lead to complications, including depression, blood clots in the legs, and decreased muscle
tone. Hopefully these tips will help you avoid future
instances of back pain. If you are currently suffering and need help, please give us a
call today and get back to living life with less pain.
Thanks for watching!