Whether you are suffering from upper, middle, or lower back pain, you know how frustrating and limiting it can be. Back pain can severely affect your ability to enjoy sports, activities, or even completing everyday tasks.
But did you know that some of these everyday tasks and habits can actually worsen your back pain? Or cause it in the first place?
If you do any of the following, you’re practically inviting back pain into your life:
Hold on to Stress – When we bottle up stress, it has to go somewhere. Most people hold stress in one of two places: their stomach, or their back. Either way tends to lead to pain and illness. When we hold stress in our backs, our muscles tense and feel pressure, eventually leading to back pain or spasms. If you don’t take some time to relax (or add on more stress by worrying about your back pain), it can turn into something more severe.
Keep Your Life in Your Purse (or Backpack) – If you’re constantly on-the-go, it’s convenient to have a huge bag to carry your essential belongings (and maybe some that aren’t so essential). Be aware, however, that putting this much weight on your shoulder or shoulders can compromise your balance, as well as cause pain throughout your shoulder, neck, and back area.
Not Exercising – Spending the day at your desk, in your car, or on the couch doesn’t encourage proper posture and can lead to back pain – fast. Routine exercise, whether it’s running, weights, or something else entirely, helps to strengthen your core and back and make it easier for you to maintain proper posture. If you don’t want to hit the gym, hit the mat. Yoga works on strengthening your back and core muscles through poses and gentle stretching, and you may not even sweat… maybe.
Sleeping On an Old Mattress – We spend up to 8 hours a day (or more, if you’re lucky) lying on our beds, so it’s worth the investment to get a mattress that will prevent or help reduce back pain. When shopping for mattresses, consider your level of back pain, and also the position in which you sleep. The places you rest your body weight require different levels of comfort or support.
Wearing High Heels or Unsupportive Footwear – Proper alignment of your back is key to reducing back pain, and this requires effort from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. This may come as a surprise, but choosing proper footwear is essential to good alignment and posture. Insoles, more supportive shoes, or specialized shoes aren’t always fashion-friendly, but can make a huge impact on your pain levels and overall comfort.
Reducing Back Pain with a Chiropractor
Kicking one or a combination of the above habits can reduce your back pain, but may not eliminate pain that comes from injuries or severe posture issues. For chronic or severe pain, or to prevent future back pain, consider visiting a chiropractor.
Chiropractors can assess back pain and offer suggestions and treatments that are customized to your lifestyle, pain levels, and spinal alignment. At iChiropractic, we offer the following to reduce back pain and encourage a strong, pain-free back in the future:
- Chiropractic Adjustments (to encourage proper alignment)
- Physical Therapy and Exercises
- Flexion Distraction (to gently stretch and bend the back)
- Intersegmental Traction (to stretch the joints between vertebrae)
- Massage Therapy
- Spinal Decompression (to reduce pressure on nerves surrounding the discs in your back)
These treatments can have a great impact on your back, your entire body, and your ability to enjoy a pain-free life.
About the Author:
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.