Back pain is an everyday reality that millions of Americans cope with. A 2019 study found that 39% of adults experienced back pain in the last 3 months. It can be very difficult to pinpoint the cause of back pain as it can be caused by a variety of factors including poor posture, muscle strain, and injury. Unfortunately, there are many common activities that may be contributing to your back pain. Identifying and addressing these causes can help improve your comfort level on a daily basis.
Sitting for Too Long
One of the most common causes of back pain is sitting for too long. Sitting for extended periods puts pressure on your spinal discs and can cause your back muscles to become overly stressed. To prevent back pain from sitting, try to stand for 1 to 2 minutes every half hour.
Sitting or standing with poor posture puts unnecessary strain on your back muscles and spine.
Here are some tips for good posture while standing:
- Stand straight with your shoulders back
- Keep your head aligned straight with your body
- Push your chest out
- Keep your feet shoulder-width apart
- Avoid locking your knees
- Evenly distribute weight between both feet
- Let your hands hang naturally at your side.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor
- Avoid sitting with your knees above the level of your hips
- Keep your head and neck straight and aligned with your torso
- Relax your shoulders
Lifting Heavy Objects
Working excessively hard or using bad lifting techniques can cause back pain. Repetitive lifting or lifting heavy weights can strain back muscles. When lifting heavy objects, don’t push past your limits and take rest breaks when needed. Lift with correct posture by following these guidelines:
- Keep the object you are lifting as close to your body as possible
- Maintain an upright position while squatting to pick up
- Tighten your stomach muscles to help support your spine
- Lift with your legs
- If you have to turn, turn with your feet, not your back
Using Your Phone
Looking down at your phone for extended periods can cause back pain. Bad posture used to look down at your device puts strain on your neck and upper back muscles. Keeping your phone parallel to your eyes and your head straight can prevent unnecessary strain on your back and neck.
Wearing High Heels
Many are not aware of the back strain caused by wearing high heels. When wearing high heels, body weight is pushed forward which can cause the spine to be out of alignment. This misalignment can put a lot of strain on back muscles and the spine, leading to pain. Try to limit the amount of time you wear high heels, or choose to wear shoes with a lower heel.
Carrying a Heavy Bag
Using one shoulder to carry a heavy bag may be causing you back pain. When only one shoulder is bearing the weight of the bag, your muscles are imbalanced which could be causing pain. Instead, opt to use a backpack or bag with two straps for heavier weights to more evenly distribute the weight. If you’re experiencing back pain, considering using proper support, you can check Donjoy back braces for sale. These braces can be beneficial for added stability and comfort during common activities.
Back pain can be the result of weak back muscles. Weaker back muscles are more easily strained which can lead to pain and injury. Regular physical activity such as walking, swimming, or yoga can help build back strength and even provide some back pain relief.
Sleeping on a Bad Mattress
Mattresses that are too firm or too soft can cause back pain. Sleeping on a bad mattress can cause your spine to be out of alignment, leading to daily discomfort. Make sure to choose a mattress that is firm enough to support your back, but also comfortable enough to sleep on. A mattress that is too soft might mean it’s time for a replacement.
Research has shown a link between smoking and back pain. Smoking can cause damage to arteries in the discs and joints in the back. Damage to these arteries may lead to discomfort and a back injury. Additionally, nicotine reduces blood flow which can cause faster wear to spinal discs, making them more susceptible to injury. Cutting out smoking and nicotine can lead to increased back health.
When stressed, muscles become tense which can cause back tension and pain. To mitigate back pain from stress, try managing stress through relaxation techniques such as mindfulness exercises.
Limitations of Preventative Measures for Back Pain
While these preventative measures can help reduce your risk of developing back pain, they may not be effective at preventing chronic pain caused by an underlying medical condition or injury. If you are experiencing back pain caused by a personal injury, it’s important to seek medical attention and consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options for recovering compensation. According to Roberts & Spiegel, an injury lawyer can help you get treatment for your injuries and recover other damages associated with the injury. Appropriate treatment may include physical therapy, medication, or spine surgery, depending on the severity of your injury and back pain.
Take Control of Your Back Pain
Back pain is an all too common experience caused by a variety of factors. Some everyday activities that you may not think are causing you back pain could actually be causing or contributing to it. By making some simple changes to your daily routine, you can reduce your risk of experiencing back pain and improve your overall health and wellbeing.