Back injuries and pain are among the most persistent and common chronic disabilities that Americans face today. The truth is, our spines were never really meant to support bipedal walking, and as a result, eight percent of adults within the country suffer from back pain, resulting in the sixth most costly condition in the US. To curb the rising number of people facing debilitating pains, here are four daily activities that cause back issues and how to reduce and avoid them.
Personal trainers are expensive, so most gym-goers opt for self-created workouts with no outside guidance. When done improperly, however, weightlifting activities can wear down your spine and contribute to lasting chronic back pain and issues. Ultimately, good posture ensures that lifting exercises benefit your health instead of causing more damage. You must also lift weights that aren’t too heavy in relation to your abilities—too much weight can strain ligaments and muscles that are crucial for your back’s health and cause herniated or slipped discs.
To avoid weightlifting-related injury, consult the professionals at the gym and find the optimal exercise methods that work with your body’s needs. The internet is full of helpful tutorials that can guide you in your workouts.
Poor Sleeping Habits
We spend nearly a third of our lives snuggled up in bed, so it’s quite unfortunate that improper sleeping habits and postures pose threats to our physical well-being. Sleeping in a poor position puts strain on your back, especially if you sleep on your stomach—your body’s weight is placed on the middle of your back and spine. Consider sleeping on your back so that your entire body is adequately aligned. Putting a pillow under your knees encourages your body to sleep naturally with evenly distributed weight.
40-Plus-Hour Work Week
When we’re not sleeping at home, we spend most of our lives in the office. Spending 40-plus hours in a chair every week does massive damage to our backs, spines, and overall physical health. The quality of your chair isn’t the only reason why 8 hours of sitting harms your well-being—bad sitting posture puts loads of stress on your disks, resulting in persistent chronic pain.
The best ways to counteract this is periodically standing and walking throughout the day, practicing 90-degree posture, and doing back stretches before and after work (or more if needed). Lastly, regular visits to a chiropractor and physical therapist have been shown to be highly beneficial in back-problem prevention.
Our ancient ancestors walked this Earth on the soles of their feet, which was much better for preventing back issues, but in modern times we require foot protection in the form of shoes. However, a poor-fitting sneaker puts stress on your back as you walk because it makes your gait unnatural. Additionally, higher heels are detrimental to your physical well-being. It’s best to opt for shoes in the correct size that support the activity you’re doing: running shoes for jogging, comfy dress shoes for formal events, and lower heels when you’re hitting the town for a night out.
Many daily activities that cause back issues stem from bad posture and stress. To ensure you’re keeping your body healthy, pay attention to how you carry yourself and avoid any activity that causes you pain.