Your back hurts again. Why? It doesn’t seem like you did anything to strain it. But wait—some habits that you never suspected can cause problems with your back. To get to the bottom of what’s causing your trouble, King Chiropractic advises you to check these surprising habits that may cause back pain.
1. An Old Mattress Can Cause Back Pain
If you’re waking up in the morning with back pain, chances are it’s your mattress. A good-quality mattress can last 10 years, so if yours dates from horse-and-buggy days, your mattress may be your problem.
When shopping for a new mattress, look for medium firmness for good support. It’s important that your mattress is in the Goldilocks zone: Not too hard, and not too soft. A soft topper like memory foam can help accommodate the contours of your spine while providing good support for sleep.
2. Look Down (at your shoes!)
Footwear can really strain your spine. High heels cause you to arch your back, and flats can fail to provide cushioning. Both these problems will strain your joints and spine.
When buying shoes, choose durable, supportive shoes that fit well. Some people prefer a higher heel height than others and will be more comfortable in higher heels, but 2.25 inches is about as high as you can go without causing injury to the joints and muscles. Make a habit of wearing comfortable shoes to reduce back pain.
See Related: 8 Things Everyone Who Wears High Heels Needs to Know
3. Skipping Your Workout
Your workout is your back’s best friend. Exercise is the key to muscle tone that helps support your back, especially if you work to strengthen your core and back. A mix of cardio and strength training will develop muscle tone and flexibility, reducing stiffness and preventing disc degeneration.
4. Carrying Too Much Stuff Can Cause Back Pain
If you’re hauling around a heavy purse or briefcase, get ready to throw this bad habit away! Carrying a weighty load on one side of your body throws your spine out of balance, and you will pay a price for carrying that baggage. Instead, switch to a roll-along briefcase for heavy papers and books. If your purse is too heavy, move some of the stuff to a tote bag and carry it on the other shoulder to redistribute the weight.
5. You’re “Carrying” a Grudge
Our emotions can cause muscle tension and that can cause pain. Carrying a grudge is a habit that surprisingly can cause back pain!
To release yourself from the habit of holding a grudge, practice forgiveness. Like most new habits, it’s hard at first and becomes easier with practice. The benefit to you is fewer feelings of anger, resentment and depression—that’s a lot less pain to carry around, emotionally and physically.
6. Sitting Too Much/ Sitting Incorrectly
If you have a desk job, you may already realize that sitting all day takes a toll on your back: Bad posture and weakening back muscles put pressure on your spine. But there are a few things you can do to improve the situation and still get something done. Some people swear by a standing desk or a kneeling chair—try them out. Or improve your sitting posture by maintaining an ergonomic workstation. Lean back during the day and take frequent breaks.
7. Being Stressed
There are lots of stressors in our busy modern lives. But it’s important to know that stress is tough on your body. Muscles in your neck and back clench and tighten, causing pain. Cortisol, the stress hormone, reduces bone density and muscle mass.
We can reduce stress by handling things differently. Exercise, meditation, breathing exercises, chamomile tea, and even a warm bath can help reduce stress in your life, helping you to move forward in a positive way and feel better physically, too.
8. Bad Dietary Habits Can Hurt Your Back
Junk food isn’t just the enemy of your waistline—it’s your back’s enemy, too. Weight gain puts an extra load on your back and pulls the pelvis forward. Dump the high-calorie snacks and bring some healthier alternatives into your life. Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet is a great way to lose weight and improve your health, and your back will thank you for it.
If any of these habits is causing you back trouble, let King Chiropractic know. We can help with pain relief and restoring your range of motion after an injury. To discuss how King Chiropractic can help you, give us a call at (910) 777-7228 today. We’d love to help improve your performance and mobility so you’re back to feeling your best as soon as possible.