What Daily Habits are Hurting Your Back [Infographic]

What Daily Habits are Hurting Your Back

Chronic back pain is common, but many people are doing themselves no favors by repeating poor daily habits that only make the pain worse. As bad habits develop, your muscles get used to the negative patterns. Taking care of your back can become easy once you replace your bad habits with healthy ones. The list of seemingly insignificant everyday habits that can take a toll on your back is pretty long. Here are five habits that may be causing some of those unwanted aches.

Why poor eating is bad for my back?

Good nutrition and a balanced diet are important for overall health. But for those with back problems, good eating habits may be the missing piece to solving your back pain puzzle. Excessive caffeine, alcohol, and sugar are all major causes of back pain. These things increase cortisol levels. When there is excess cortisol in the body, connective tissue can become inflamed, leading to pain. Other cortisol-producing habits include skipping meals, eating large portions, or limiting yourself to a restrictive diet over a long period of time.

Are high heels hurting my back?

With style, comes suffering; and that is why the use of high heels may be hurting your back. Elevating one’s heel four inches off the ground is not natural. When placed in this abnormal position, the body attempts to compensate by flexing or forward bending the hips and spine. To maintain proper balance the calf, hip, and back muscles will all become tense. At the end of a full day of tense muscles, muscle fatigue, and strain will be prevalent.

Style doesn’t have to be completely sacrificed to avoid back pain. Here are a few simple suggestions to help minimize the danger of regularly wearing high heels:

  • Stretch the back of your legs before and after wearing high heels.
  • Wear high heels for brief periods of time (3-4 hours).
  • Alternate high-heel days with low and moderately-heeled days.
  • Listen to your body. Take off your heels at the onset of pain.

Why poor posture is hurting my back?

You may not feel the negative effects after sitting with poor posture for a few hours. But over time the stress on your back from poor posture can lead to changes in your spine. These changes will provoke back pain. Poor posture will cause back pain that:

  • Is worse at certain times of the day.
  • Starts in your neck and moves to your upper and lower back.
  • Subsides after switching positions while sitting or standing.

How yoga can help with back pain?

Although no one treatment works for everyone, many aspects of yoga are ideal for treating back pain. The practice of yoga leads to significant gains in flexibility, strength, and endurance. All of which are a basic goal of a back pain rehabilitation program. The breathing and meditation aspects of yoga also provide benefits as they induce a relaxation response that also decreases pain. Yoga develops abdominal and pelvic muscles and addresses the lack of flexibility in the hips. When these muscles are strengthened, your posture improves, reducing the load on your back, and reducing some of those aches.

Is an old mattress hurting my back?

If your back pain is present when you first wake up, or if you are tossing and turning trying to get to sleep, there is a good chance that your mattress may be to blame. Everyone has different sleep preferences, which makes it hard to find the perfect mattress. But finding a mattress that doesn’t cause pain should be a top priority. Your mattress is an important piece of furniture that the average person will spend 7-9 hours on a day. Invest in something that will give you better sleep and less pain, instead of going frugal and ending up with something that is causing less sleep and more pain.

Back pain affects 31 million Americans at any given time and is a common source of suffering, depression, disability, and economic loss. If you are one of those suffering, contact the Minnesota Spine Institute for an MRI consultation and regain your life back, with less back pain!