Some people think that back pain is just part of growing older. They think that is just unavoidable and that everyone is just destined to develop pinched nerves, bulging discs, and sciatica as part of the aging process. But I don’t believe this is the case. There are actually small habits and lifestyle choices that people make that result in these back problems. Here are 3 of them:
First, is a sedentary lifestyle. This probably isn’t going to shock you, but if you spend your life sitting, then don’t be surprised if you get back pain. Sure, maybe you’ve got a job where you have to sit at a desk for eight hours a day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get up and stretch or walk over to the water cooler every once in awhile.
Plus, what do you do when you’re not working? For most people these days, you probably sit in your car and go home where you sit in front of the television for several more hours. Sure your job may not be helping your back, but what you do when you’re off the clock probably isn’t helping either. Take some time to get some exercise. Try biking to work if you live close enough or try working out or playing a sport in your free time.
Second, is poor habits. Do you keep your wallet in your back pocket and sit down all day long at a desk? Do you have a habit of carrying a backpack on one shoulder? Do you slouch or have poor posture? These are all habits that can cause back pain.
All of these small habits may seem harmless, but what they really do is they take your spine out of symmetrical alignment. You want to use your body evenly on both sides, when you don’t, our bones are pushed out of alignment and added pressure is placed on your nerves. Additionally, this can result in muscular imbalances that will further push your spine out of alignment over time.
The way to deal with this is to pay more attention to how you hold your body throughout the day. Remember, the ideal way to do things will use your body evenly and symmetrically. Try to avoid any activities that favor one side of your body over another, especially activities that involve your spine.
Third, is dietary habits. This might be surprising to a few people, but did you know that certain foods can contribute to inflammation. When your body is inflamed it can result in added stress on your nerves in your back, which may already be stressed from other lifestyle choices. Typical “unhealthy” foods like fast food and junk food are loaded with fats and have a high glycemic index. These things cause inflammation and may just be what pushes you over the edge to suffer from back pain.
On the other side of things, foods containing Omega 3 fats and antioxidants actually work to reduce inflammation in your body. Examples of these foods are fish (especially salmon), walnuts, and blueberries.
So, if back pain seems to be a problem in your life and no amount of stretching exercises seems to help, consider that instead of trying to combat the problem with stretches you might just need to stop doing the things that cause back pain to begin with.