Back pain can interfere with all aspects of your daily life, making it uncomfortable to move around or even sit for extended periods of time. If your back has been bothering you, you may be placing unnecessary pressure on your spine. The following is a list of bad habits that can cause wear and tear to the spine over time, and what you can do to correct them.
Carrying a backpack, bag, or purse that is too heavy. Trying to carry an overloaded bag can lead to back and spine injuries. According to the American Chiropractic Association, a bag should not weigh more than 10% of your body weight. If you must carry heavy items on a regular basis, consider buying a bag with rollers to reduce the risk of back pain.
Slouching. Poor posture can take a toll on your spine. Typically the back should be aligned above the hips so that the spine is supported. When you hunch forward, the pressure gets placed on your back instead, which could lead to spine pain. Whether you sit or stand regularly, be sure to keep your back straight and at an angle perpendicular to the floor.
Walking in high heels. High heels cause you to walk at an unnatural angle that puts extra strain on the back. This can cause back muscles to become fatigued, increasing the risk of spinal injury. Instead, consider wearing shoes with little to no heel to relieve the pressure on your spine.
Avoiding exercise. Spending most of your day in a sedentary sitting position puts additional stress on your spine and compresses your back, which can lead to pain. Try to work in exercise as part of your daily routine, even if you only have time for a short stretching session.
Sleeping on an old mattress. After years of use, mattresses do not provide the support they should, which can cause you to wake up to back pain. If your mattress is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it with a new one.
Eating an unhealthy diet. A poor diet can cause you to gain weight, which adds extra stress to your back. In addition, an unhealthy diet can cause poor blood circulation, which leads to inflammation and pain. Consider replacing unhealthy, nutrient deficient foods with foods that have a high nutrient content.
All of these bad habits can contribute to back pain over time. While any one habit may not seem harmful in the short term, the strain that is inflicted over several years can lead to serious spine problems later on. Consider modifying your daily habits to promote spine health and minimize the risk of injury.
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