We’ve all got bad habits. I have them, too. But when it comes to lower back pain, bad habits may be the source of the problem.
People who sit at work (or at home) for long periods, who slouch and who have weakened muscle tone are especially at risk. Those with weak core muscles (abdominals, back and gluteus) are most at risk.
Having back pain when you’re older is often believed to be inevitable. I’m here to tell you it’s not and that you can limit your exposure to its eventuality by breaking the habits causing your lower back pain.
Poor Eating Habits
Don’t have time to eat properly? You could be hurting your back, without even knowing it.
Your diet should be rich in fresh foods which boast anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation in the body can become serious pain, so eating well is your first line of defense.
In addition, avoiding foods high in the unholy trinity of fat, sugar and salt (the foundation of fast food and junk food) will help you lose a little weight. Even 5 pounds can make a tremendous difference when it comes to lower back pain. Being overweight is a major contributor to this condition.
Sleeping on a Bad Mattress
Is it time to get rid of that mattress you’ve been sleeping on a little too long? It’s your mattress and you’re happy with it but is it doing you any favors?
If you’re having trouble sleeping, you may not blame it on your mattress. You may think it’s stress (also bad for your back). But give some thought to exploring a new mattress. You need 8 hours sleep every night to give your body a chance to rejuvenate itself.
A medium-firm mattress is best for the health of your back. And an old mattress that’s become lumpy and/or soft needs to be replaced. A rule of thumb to keep in mind is changing the mattress about every 7 years.
Whether sitting or standing, posture is fundamental to back and spine health. Slouching and standing for long periods can exacerbate back problems, just as sitting for long periods can.
When standing, maintain your head in a neutral position (centered over the shoulders), with shoulders relaxed and back and abdominal muscles held in.
When sitting, keep your backside flush with the back of your chair, feet flat on the floor. If necessary, use a lumbar pillow to support your lower back. Craning your head toward your computer screen is a “no no”. Maintain it in a neutral position, as you do when standing.
If needed, adjust your workspace to support better sitting posture. And remember to get up and move around every half hour.
Back & Body Medical
Located in the heart of Manhattan, our clinic brings you multi-disciplinarian pain relief that’s won awards because it works.
If you’re experiencing lower back pain, our team of clinicians practicing chiropractic, sports medicine, physical therapy and acupuncture can help, with individualized recovery plans.
Ready to tackle habits causing lower back pain? Contact us.