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3 Habits that Are Wrecking Your Joints

By Krista Elliott

When it comes to bad habits, goodness knows I have my share. We all do. Whether we cuss too much (guilty), bite our nails (guilty) or procrastinate [very, very guilty — Ed.] we all have our quirks and foibles that we wish we could improve upon. 

Some bad habits, though, are more than mere annoyances or inconveniences. Some can be downright harmful. When you think about harmful habits, you might think of things that can turn into addictions, like smoking or gambling. But there are perfectly innocuous-looking habits that aren't really addictive, but that can still do a number on your health; specifically, the health of your spine and joints. 

So what bad habits are you guilty of? 

You Crack Your Knuckles (or Neck, or Back)

Oh, this is a common one, and I'll admit, one that I'm guilty of as well. (Wow, I really have a lot of bad habits ... Hmm.) Cracking your joints often starts out as a nervous habit, or as a way to relieve tension. And there IS something so satisfying about that popping sound and the feeling of release. However, this is a terrible habit for your joints. Why? Because when we crack our knuckles, neck or back, we don't really take our anatomy into account, and more often than not, we hyperextend the joint. And the result isn't pretty: Stretched-out ligaments that have a harder time keeping your joints in their proper alignment resulting in uncomfortable subluxations and weakened functionality.

You're A Smartphone Junkie

We all love our phones. It's amazing to think that we carry more computing power in our back pocket than was used by NASA during the first mission to the moon — and that we use it to share cat videos and argue with strangers. A heavy phone habit, however, can do a real number on your neck. Odds are, when you use your phone, you're not lifting it up to eye level so that you can look at it with your spine in a neutral position. Instead, you're probably looking down at it, which can cause "text neck," symptoms of which include painful neck and shoulder spasms, muscle strain, spinal subluxations, and pinched nerves. 

You Don't Exercise

Way too many of us spend our days sitting in a chair, and our evenings slumped on a couch, with very little physical activity being inserted into our days. As a result, our core muscles are woefully weak and unable to do much of a job when it comes to keeping our spine and joints supported and in good alignment. This can result in back and joint pain, which then deters exercise even further, and into the vicious cycle we go. 

It'd be nice if we could all eradicate our bad habits, but let's be real: That's probably not going to happen anytime soon. However, you can help offset the negative effects with regular chiropractic care from the experts at The Joint Chiropractic. With gentle and precise adjustments, the chiropractic doctors at The Joint can address the root causes of your back and joint pain, and can also help keep your frame in its best alignment possible, making you more comfortable and injury-resistant. 

So get a good habit started and come by The Joint today!

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