From simple aging to pushing yourself too hard at the gym, back pain has many causes. Sometimes, one key injury is the sole cause of back pain. However, back pain often has many small causes found in the simple activities you do every day.

At The Spine Care Center in Manassas, our experts are dedicated to helping treat and prevent back pain. To improve the health of your back, we recommend breaking these bad habits that strain your spine. If breaking these bad habits doesn’t help, or if you would like to learn more about back pain treatment, then feel free to contact us.

Being a Couch Potato

Exercise is vital for maintaining a strong back. When you sit or lie down for long periods of time each day, your back muscles become weak. This puts you at higher risk for injury or pain.
Each day, set some time aside to be active. Whether that means going for a walk, gardening, or doing some yoga. You don’t need to participate in vigorous exercise to see the benefits of physical activity; you just need to stay active and keep moving.

Slumping Your Shoulders

Poor posture can put more stress on certain areas of your spine and it is often a sign that your back and abdominal muscles are weak. Practice good posture every day by keeping your spine straight, your shoulders down and relaxed, and keeping your head and neck directly over your hip bones. By doing this, you can strengthen your back muscles over time.

Remember to maintain good posture while sitting, too! When you sit in a chair, keep both feet flat on the floor and your back straight. You can add lumbar support, such as a pillow, to your chair if your back begins to feel tired during the day.

It can take time to improve your posture. You can speed up the process by participating in activities that strengthen your back, such as yoga or Pilates. The key is to consistently practice maintaining good posture in your day-to-day life.

Staring at a Screen

Whether you are looking down at a phone, a tablet, or even tilting your head down to look at your computer, staring at a screen for too long each day can strain your neck and shoulders. Try to keep all screens in front of you and at eye level in order to maintain good posture. If you can’t do that, then cut down on screen time and be sure to stretch your neck and shoulders throughout the day.

Lifting Incorrectly

Whether you are lifting heavy boxes or a small child, many people lift with their back instead of their legs. Regardless of your physical fitness or the weight of the object you lift, poor form could potentially cause painful problems. Lifting with your back rather than your legs can strain the back and even cause you to throw your back out.

To lift objects with a proper form, squat down by bending your knees and keep your back as straight as you can. After squatting down like this, straighten your knees to lift the item up. Maintaining this posture means the lift comes from your legs, not from your back.

Wearing A Bag

Wearing a heavy bag on one shoulder can pull your spine out of proper posture and strain the muscles in your back. If you have to carry a heavy bag, then try to choose a backpack that you can wear on both shoulders. This helps distribute the weight evenly across your back, reducing spine strain.

By kicking these four bad habits, you may be able to make your back healthier and stronger while also managing your back pain. Remember, you don’t have to live with back pain, no matter its cause. Call The Spine Care Center in Manassas today at (703) 257-2266 or request an appointment online to take the first step toward a healthier, stronger back. Our expert spine doctors are here to help!