Bad Habits That Are Hurting Your Back

The things you do every day have a huge impact on your body, even if you don’t realize it.  How you sit, stand and even walk all contribute to your spine health, which translates into the bigger picture of your overall health.  Here are a few bad habits that you may want to be aware of and try to break.

Sitting

Sitting for too long is a back breaker.  It puts more pressure on the spine than standing.  So, if you sit a lot during the day, make sure you take a break about every 30 minutes or so to stretch.

Driving

Not only is slumping over the wheel bad for your back, but having your car seat in a bad position is a mistake too.  Bad posture in the car can lead to rounded shoulders that will then lead to back pain.  Make sure you have your car seat at a 90 degree angle and make sure that your seat is close enough to the wheels and pedals that you don’t have to stretch.

Skipping Your Workout

If you’re having back pain the last thing you may want to do is exercise, but avoiding exercise because your back is hurt isn’t the answer.  Try a gentler exercise that can help stretch out your sore muscles, such as yoga or walking.  It may help to soothe that sore back faster.

Baggage

If you carry a backpack, briefcase, purse or some other bag around and it’s overloaded it can lead to an imbalance in the shoulders.  Keep in mind that you don’t want your bag to weigh more than about 10% of your total body weight.

An Unhealthy Diet

This can lead to excess weight which puts a lot of strain on your back in order to balance.  Clogged arteries can also be a source of back pain.  The fix for this is fairly simple, make sure you eat a balanced and healthy diet to help shed any excess pounds keep those arteries clean as a whistle!

To the Mattresses

Considering that it’s a surface you spend a fair amount of time on, your mattress is very important and a bad one can have a negative impact on your back.  A mattress only lasts for 9-10 years, but you may want to contemplate swapping it every 5-7 years if you find yourself having a lot of back problems when you awaken. When you do get a new mattress pick one that’s not too firm and not too soft.  Your back will thank you and you’ll sleep better at night.

High Heels

When you wear high heels your back has to compensate for the change in your center of gravity, so it basically has to work harder to keep you upright.  If you do wear heels, try to limit the amount of time you walk in them, don’t walk long distances and add a cushioned insole.

Stress

Believe it or not, stress and built-up anger can cause muscle tension, which can lead to back pain.  Ask your doctor about stress management and see if you can relax those tense muscles from the brain on down.

The TV

Watching too much TV is bad for your back because of the amount of time you sit stationary.  Try to cut down your screen time and when you do watch, stretch during commercials.

Disregarding Back Pain

The biggest, baddest habit of them all is not listening to your body when you’re in pain.  If you’re experiencing back pain it will more than likely just get worse.  Seek treatment to make sure you don’t do any permanent damage.  Plus, there’s no reason to just grin and bear it, there’s things you can do about it!

 

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Roland Tanglao

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