The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that, in 2019, an estimated 39% of all American adults experienced some form of back pain. Your spine is the structural center of your body, with an amazing mixture of strength and flexibility. However, like other systems in your body, it may suffer due to bad habits you pick up over the years.
Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic in Flowood, Mississippi, specializes in treating back pain when these habits add up, but we’re also happy when our patients avoid suffering. We can help with this list of bad habits for back pain for you to consider. A few small changes in your lifestyle could result in better back health and pain-free living.
A popular media catchphrase lately reads that sitting is the new smoking. While the comparison may be somewhat overstated, it’s true that the amount of sitting forced on us through computer time, office work, and hobbies can be a multi-faceted threat to health. When it comes to back pain, any deviation from ideal posture increases strain on the vertebrae in your lower back. The bad habits here are slouching forward and staying glued to your chair. Get up and move at least every hour and reset your posture every 20 minutes until new habits start to form and your back pain eases.
When musculoskeletal pain of any sort emerges, it’s natural to stop activity until the pain goes away. Combined with long hours of sitting, too much rest could work against your return to a pain-free life. When you experience a back pain episode, ignore the habit of staying still and instead add gentle, low-impact exercise like walking or swimming. Motion is part of your body’s healing process. When your pain is gone, add 30 minutes of similar exercise five days a week as a back pain preventive habit.
You’ve got even more chair time with a substantial daily commute. Your driving posture may be a bad habit that creates additional strain. Stretching your legs to reach the gas pedal prevents vital support for your lumbar spine, and the increased reach causes a forward slouch of your upper back. Move your seat forward and maintain an upright posture with your left foot on the floor.
Giving up smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation can also help reduce the incidence of back pain. You can support conditions for a pain-free life by choosing a diet that steers away from foods promoting inflammation, like processed meats, refined starches, fried foods, and sweetened drinks. Add foods rich in calcium and vitamin D to promote overall bone health.
There may be more you can do to prevent or relieve back pain, including sleep conditions or stress relief. When your self-care isn’t enough to stop the hurting, book an appointment with Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic online or by phone. There’s a solution for back pain, so schedule your visit today.