With back pain affecting 80% percent of Americans at any given time, this health risk is a nationwide epidemic. Even the smallest amount of back pain can make daily functioning extremely difficult for most individuals. Those who experience intense or unbearable pain are often simply unable to continue their daily routines. Instead, they must make major sacrifices in order to cope with the pain. In an attempt to put an end to this epidemic, here are seven everyday activities to avoid because of their potential risk for causing back pain.
In our technologically driven society, people interact with smartphones for a considerable portion of their day. From reading emails and news stories to playing games and listening to music, we are rarely without a phone in our hands. Unfortunately, the head-down position in which we often use our phone can cause tremendous back pain. The strain in our neck muscles can end up reaching our lower backs over time. In order to counteract this development, chiropractors suggest using smart phone holders or other stands that allow users to interact by looking straight ahead rather than down.
Sitting at a Computer
Everyone is familiar with the tense feeling in the lower back that can develop after hours of sitting at a computer. Surprisingly, those who have desk jobs requiring them to sit for long hours experience more back pain than those in manual labor occupations. While many people cannot simply quit their job because of back pain, short stretch breaks throughout the work day can help to minimize the impact of this posture. Also, training yourself to sit with a straight back can have positive effects.
Driving for Extended Periods of Time
The one thing that can make sitting long hours at an office even worse is sitting in a car on commute to that same job. When people sit with legs extended, there is less support for the back. For this reason, it is important to sit relatively close to the steering wheel to ensure you are not stretching forward. It is also helpful to adjust your seat to a 90 degree angle.
Skipping the Gym
Unfortunately, back pain often discourages people from working out. This reaction makes sense rationally as any movement can make the back pain worse. However, consistent exercise can actually have a great impact on the improvement of back pain. Healthcare professionals recommend stretching, walks and yoga practice.
Bad Eating Habits
As most people are aware, an unhealthy diet can have several negative effects on daily life. Back pain is another one of the possible and unfortunate consequences of bad eating habits. Reduced or inhibited circulation to the spine can result from bad food choices. This reduced circulation can lead to inflammation and overall back pain. Additionally, the development of a gut can cause back pain by constantly requiring the engagement of back muscles to maintain posture.
Another common cause of back pain is sleeping on a bad mattress. Whether your mattress is old or poorly designed, constantly sleeping on a bad bed will inevitably cause back pain. In order to fix this issue, consider purchasing a higher quality mattress.
While nobody is convinced that high heels are comfortable, some may not be aware of the potential back pain that can result from wearing them. With raised heels, people are forced to arch their spine to maintain posture. This inevitably engages the spine muscles. If engaged for extended periods of time, this can lead to back pain.