As we get older, aches and pains become more of a fact of life. Back pain is one of the most common things that sends people to the doctor or causes them to miss work. Fortunately, while back pain is common, there are some easy preventive measures you can take to address the source of common back pain.
Most people perform some combination of walking, standing, sitting, lying down, bending, and lifting every day. However, because these actions are so common in our daily lives, it’s easy to develop bad habits while doing them. Bad posture is the biggest culprit.
For example, here are some of the habits that may be causing your poor back more harm than good.
- Slouching or slumping while sitting in chairs or on the couch
- Working on your laptop while in bed
- Hunching over while doing chores like washing dishes or yard work
- Pushing your vacuum cleaner with one hand
- Lying stomach-down and reading or working on a laptop
- Putting your weight on one leg when you stand
- Lifting with your back and not your knees
- Hunching while walking
If your back pain is worse after doing one of these activities, this is probably the cause! Luckily, this also makes it easier to be conscientious about fixing this behavior.
But what actually happens to your back over time?
This stress of poor posture can cause a variety of issues. For example, over time, slouching can strain your back and core muscles, causing stiffness, pain, and lower back weakness. Working from your stomach can alter the curve of your spine, and other postures can cause herniated discs.
Here are some tips that can help you maintain better posture.
Look straight ahead and keep your head balanced. Focus on keeping your spine straight and your shoulders relaxed.
Make sure you have support when you sit.
Sit with your back up against your chair’s back. Keep your shoulders back and your shoulder blades down. If you roll up a towel or place a small pillow behind your lower back, this can help you maintain the appropriate level of curve in your spine. Also try to get up once each hour, which takes the pressure off of your disks.
Try a corrective device.
If you have trouble sitting straight, there are a variety of devices that can remind you to sit up straighter. This tiny wearable device reminds you to sit up straight with a gentle tap. It adheres easily to your back, and best of all, anyone can use it!