Far too many Americans suffer from back pain on a daily basis. Whether it’s pain after a long day at the office or an all-day ache that won’t seem to go away, back pain of any kind can significantly reduce your quality of life and prevent you from doing the things you love. While some forms of back pain are caused by diagnosable conditions, others are caused by lifestyle habits that can be changed fairly easily. In today’s post, we’ll take a look at five common ways you might be contributing to your back pain.
The Spine Care Center in Manassas offers dedicated back pain treatment from some of the most talented and compassionate spine doctors in the world, and we would love to help you find a lasting solution to your back pain.
Do You Need to Break Any of These Habits?
You Sit All Day at Work…
Believe it or not, sitting is hard on your spine. Depending on your posture and the angle at which your spine rests, you may be putting up to 40% more pressure on your spine when you sit than when you stand. We know that many of our readers work at desk jobs for at least 40 hours a week, so be mindful of your posture whenever you sit down. Your lower back should be firmly supported by the back of your chair, and you shouldn’t have to lean forward or tilt your head up or down to see your monitors.
If you have the option to stand throughout the day, try working while standing for 15 minutes every hour, but maintain a keen awareness of your posture. We know that many companies have not yet switched to sit-stand desks, and if this is the case in your office, then stand up whenever you answer the phone or need to take a break from your work.
….And Sit When You Get Home
You might have a long commute home, and exercising is probably the last thing you want to do after a long day — especially if your back is already hurting. However, sitting back down on the couch after a long day of sitting at work is only going to exacerbate your back pain. Do your best to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day, or use your television time to stretch and relieve muscle tension.
If you don’t watch much television to begin with, then you should make time in the evenings to walk with a friend, your significant other, a pet, or with your favorite podcast or album playing in your headphones! Walking is one of the best natural back pain treatments available, and we can’t recommend it highly enough!
You Sleep on an Old Mattress
Many of our patients come to us complaining of back pain that begins from the moment they wake up, and many times, their pain is being caused by an old mattress. A quality mattress will last for up to 10 years with proper care, but sleep experts recommend that most people invest in a new mattress every 5 to 7 years. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to finding the right mattress, so pick a retailer that allows you to try a mattress out before you fully commit.
You Lift With Your Back
Improper lifting technique is one of the most common causes of back pain, and it can even cause disc herniations and other painful injuries. Follow these tips to ensure that you’re lifting properly and protecting your back:
- Always engage your core when lifting.
- Always bend at the knees and maintain a straight back.
- Keep the object as close to your body as possible, as holding an object at a distance places significantly more strain on your back.
- Don’t raise an object above your shoulders or drop it lower than your knees.
- Don’t twist or turn your torso while carrying something heavy.
- If you need to change directions while carrying something heavy, then use your feet to change directions instead of pivoting with your upper body.
You Check Your Phone Frequently
Almost every American has a mobile phone, and the average person spends at least two hours each day checking it. If you suffer from neck and upper back pain, then you may want to consider that your social media use and texting are contributing factors. Believe it or not, many back pain patients are suffering from minor repetitive motion injuries due to the motion the heads make when they check their devices.
Instead of looking down at your phone, try to hold the screen at eye level so that your neck isn’t strained. We know that you probably won’t stop checking your phone throughout the day, but we hope that you’ll be more conscious of where you hold the screen whenever you take it out of your pocket after reading today’s post!
Contact a Manassas Spine Doctor Today!
We hope that today’s post will help you avoid some of the most common causes of back pain. Be sure to come back to our blog frequently, as we’ll be adding even more helpful back pain treatment resources in the coming weeks and months.
Would you like to see a spine doctor about your pain? Schedule an appointment with The Spine Care Center and we’ll develop a custom back pain treatment plan tailored to your needs and lifestyle.
We look forward to speaking with you!