80% of adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. Sometimes this can be a natural effect of aging. However, more often it is the result of lifestyle choices and bad habits.
To help you to avoid back pain, here are just 7 bad habits that could be worth ironing out.
Poor posture can lead to back pain
Posture is the way in which we hold our bodies while sitting and standing. Many of us develop poor posture, which eventually leads to back pain through stress on the spine.
For instance, hunching at a desk often leads to lower back pain, while stooping as you walk could lead to upper back pain and possibly even a ‘hunchback’.
Good posture can be developed through physiotherapy. Thinking ergonomically can also help you to keep a good posture such as having your desk and chair at the right height so that you’re not stooping.
Bending over to lift things
Just as negative as bad posture is bad form. This is how we position out body when doing certain actions.
A big cause of back problems is bending to lift heavy objects such as boxes or barbells. You should never bend – instead keep your back straight by squatting to lift.
Eating too much food (in particular junk foods) will cause you to get overweight, which in turn could damage your back. Extra weight in the stomach pulls the pelvis forward, leading to strain on the lower back.
By keeping to healthy diet, you can reduce the risk of developing such pain.
Not exercising enough
This relates to overeating – exercise is also just as important for preventing weight gain, helping to take pressure off the lower back. Exercise is also important for preventing muscles and joints in the back from seizing up.
Wearing high heels
High heels can also damage your back. This is most common with those that regularly wear heels – heels force people to walk with their hips forward, which puts pressure on the lower back.
Wearing flats more often could not only prevent back pain, but also pain in the hips, knees and ankles (pretty much all joints in your lower body).
Carrying a bag regularly on the same shoulder
It’s not just heels that can cause back pain, but also handbags. If you wear a bag on the same one shoulder continuously it can start to affect your posture.
It can cause one of your trapezius muscles to grow larger than the other, throwing your body off balance and causing back pain as a result of having to constantly compensate. The simple solution to this is to keep switching shoulders.
Sleeping on your back/front
Your sleeping position can also affect your back. Both lying on your front and lying on your back can damage your back.
You’re much better off being a side sleeper and using pillows to support your head and knees. This can be a hard habit to change – if you’re not able to sleep on your side, there’s always the option of changing your mattress to help support your back.