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Arizona Medical Practice & Healthcare News | November 26, 2014

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7 Habits that are Hurting your Back

7 Habits that are Hurting your Back
VISION Marketing & Consulting

7 Habits That Are Hurting Your Back

Back pain sends more people to doctors than any condition other than the common cold.

You may be surprised to find that everyday habits can cause a lot of your aches and pains.  From sleeping the wrong way to lifting something heavy, find out what 7 habits you may be doing that are hurting your back.

You Have Poor Posture

Years of poor posture can really do some damage on your back.  Whether you aren’t standing up straight while you walk, or you are hunching over your computer all day, it can be hard to find relief from back pain.  Remember to sit at a 90-degree angle to correct your posture and try to get up every half hour from your desk to stretch and move about.  Click here to find out how to sit at your desk the correct way.

You Drive a Lot

If you are hunched over a steering wheel day after day, it can tighten your chest muscles and cause your shoulders to round.  Make sure that you sit at a 90-degree angle and close to the wheel.

You Don’t Exercise

Activity is one of the best things you can do for back pain.  Even just walking can be helpful since it gets you out of the sitting position and puts the body in a neutral, upright position.

Walking, stretching and yoga can speed up healing.

You have a lot of Baggage

When you carry a heavy bag around, your shoulders may become imbalanced.  Your body naturally elevates the shoulder carrying the bag which can throw your spine off.  If you tote around a heavy purse or briefcase regularly, it can cause back muscles to ache.  Try to alternate which shoulder you carry your bag and make sure that it weighs no more than 10% of your body weight.

You Eat Unhealthy Foods

Eating a balanced diet can help to reduce inflammation, which can trigger pain in your back.  Also, if you are overweight, it puts pressure on your joints and nerves.  Eating healthy foods is a great way to manage your back pain and weight.

Your Mattress Is Old

If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your mattress you may be in trouble.  A general rule of thumb is to replace your mattress every 10 years.  Old mattresses don’t offer the support that you need to keep your back in proper alignment.

You Wear High Heels

If you wear high heels a lot, they can definitely affect your back.  Wearing heels forces you to arch your back which will make your spinal muscles work extra hard.  Think about wearing cushioning inserts and keep supportive shoe alternatives to slip on during your commute or lunch.  You can still wear high heels, just don’t walk long distances or wear them every day.

Talk to your physical therapist about an exercise plan to help stop back pain before it begins.

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