The Surprising Daily Aspects You Can Change To Stop Back Pain

The Surprising Daily Aspects You Can Change To Stop Back Pain - Depositphotos 33436979 l 2015

How many of you have Googled ‘preventing back pain?’

I thought so…

We have all heard and read about what can cause back pain; incorrect lifting, bad posture, and sports injury, for example.

However, did you know that you may be making a common mistake in your daily routine, that might be encouraging back pain?

What I’m about to tell you might sound surprising, but hear me out and I’ll explain why it can cause your back pain to worsen, as well as give you some tips on how to change it.

So, here we go. 

Bad Diet 

A bad diet can cause back pain

When I say ‘bad diet’, I don’t mean like Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers! This is a way to manage your weight. However, I am more concerned about the reason you may go to a weight loss clinic.

Being overweight can have a great impact on your health AND your back pain. If you are overweight, then you are putting extra pressure on your back.

An example of this can be shown where we store sugar. When we eat sugar, any energy that we don’t use from it, is stored on our back.

Another place that it can be stored, along with caffeine, is at your lower back – a.k.a your love handles!

If you now think of all that excess weight being carried on your back from sugar and caffeine, is it surprising that a bad diet can lead to back pain?

To overcome this issue, try cutting down on the sugar, caffeine and processed foods and choose more natural foods. This could be chicken breasts, potatoes and fresh vegetables.

Just remember, any energy you don’t use will be stored as fat and the areas in which you store fat include your biceps, hips and back. By putting extra pressure on these areas, you effectively wear your joints and muscles out faster. 

Lack Of Exercise

 

Lack of exercise is bad for your back


By lack of exercise I mean a lack of flexibility exercises.

Many people will be active by going for long walks, playing sports and going to the gym.

Yet how many people actually put time aside to increase their flexibility, or even associate this with exercise?

Flexibility exercises always seem to be overlooked but they really shouldn’t be…

Stretches before and after exercise can help with flexibility, however it’s main focus is to get rid of the lactic acid you have built up from exercise.

If you are someone who experiences stiffness more frequently after exercise and stretches, then you might really benefit from yoga.

Yoga

Yoga

Yoga is a great exercise to add into your daily routine. Yoga may include stretches that you may already be familiar with, however yoga is so much more than a few stretches.

Yoga helps you focus on your breathing, making you feel less stressed, can ease tension as the movements relax the muscles and it increases your flexibility.

Just because Yoga isn’t as intense as a fast-paced game of tennis, does not mean that it’s not an intense workout for your muscles!

I recommend to my clients to try yoga on a daily basis because of its amazing benefits – and I recommend you give it a try too!

Your Bed

You need a good bed to stop back pain

How old did you say your mattress was? When you actually think back to when you got your mattress, you’ll be surprised at actually how old it is!

How does the age of a mattress cause back pain you ask? It’s quite simple really. Although it may have been very supportive in the beginning, overtime the springs can wear and can ultimately not end up giving you the support you need.

Think of it like this:

You have a brand-new shirt that you really like. You wear it day in day out, to prove how much you really like it. After the first few washes it looks as good as new. However, after a while you notice that the more you wear it, the more the color fades, the more the stitching comes apart, until ultimately, you need a new shirt.

Your mattress is the same. If perhaps you can’t go out and buy a new mattress today (because let’s be honest, not many of us can!), then another way to get great support is by the use of your pillows.

If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs for extra support. This will help your hip joints as well as your lower back.

If you prefer to sleep on your back however, get a pillow or two and pop them under your feet. This changes the way your spine is positioned when you sleep, providing more support for your back.

And there you have it…having a healthy diet is more important than just getting the correct nutrients for your body. It also helps ease any pressure to your joints and muscles.

Posture and Back Pain

Posture can help to stop back pain



Were you told to “sit up straight!” and “Stop Slouching!” as a kid?

There was a reason for that.

Hunching, or arching your back, over long periods of time will cause problems in the long run. Most people believe that bad posture comes from lifting heavy items or manual labor. However, one of the biggest issues comes from the way that we sit.

Most problems originate from sitting improperly at a desk, or cranking your neck downwards to look at a mobile phone. ‘Text Neck’ is a genuine condition and can also lead to back pain issues.

Your spine should naturally accommodate three curves that form an ‘S’ shape. The first curve is at the neck, with a second at the upper part of your back, and a third in the lower part of your back. 

If you don’t keep a good posture, then you cannot maintain the curves that your back naturally shapes. Poor posture can strain your muscles and ligaments, creating a source of pain and discomfort that can lead into musculoskeletal conditions – such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Posture can also have an effect on your digestion. Sitting up straight allows your organs to align in the correct position.

So, how do you ensure good posture?

You can start with a good mattress, as a worn out bed will quickly become detrimental to your posture.  Furthermore, as we mentioned above, a poor night’s sleep can also bring about aches and pains. You should also ensure that you can sit comfortably on the chairs that you use.

The correct chair is very important to your wellbeing, especially if you spend a considerable amount of time sitting at a desk. Your chair should be adjustable so that you can get comfortable and support your lower back. Remember to sit with your back against the seatback.

Try to make sure that your feet are comfortably on the ground, and not in the air, and keep your knees in line with your hips. This all helps to support your back muscles while sitting.
When using a computer, the screen should be directly in front of your vision, with the keyboard at arms length and on an even surface. If the screen is above or below eye level then you can agitate your posture and bring about back and neck pain.

We would recommend buying a wrist support to reduce any pressure on your wrists and arms, as pressure on these parts can lead to posture problems.

What About Painkillers? Pills only mask the pain, they do not solve the issue. However, as a quick fix, if you are really struggling, then painkillers can be used (in moderation) to help with the easing of discomfort when sitting at a desk.

In Summary

Young businesswoman having back pain while sitting at office desk

Your bed, as comfy as it may feel, might actually be causing you harm! Double check the date of when you got your mattress and include flexibility exercises – such as yoga –  into your daily routine for  a great difference to your back pain.

Just because yoga is a slow and calming movement doesn’t mean it’s not a good workout for your body!

One of the biggest things you can do to help yourself? Get your posture sorted. Buy a good office chair and make sure you are sitting comfortably. Don’t strain your neck when looking at your computer, or your mobile phone, or tablet. And don’t come to rely on painkillers if posture is affecting your back. Drugs are not the solution. 

Not many people seem to notice these problems in their lifestyle and often ignore them because they don’t see how what they eat and what they sleep on, can have a big impact on their back pain.

So please, don’t make the mistake that so many other people make and implement these into your daily routine today!

If you want to know any more tips on how to ease back pain, click here to download my free report today!

If you want to talk to a physical therapist, you can find our contact details through our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you!

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This is an updated and expanded version of an article that was first published in 2018. You can read the original here. 

Andrew Vertson
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