Back injuries aren’t just caused by accidents and falls. In fact, many back problems stem from lifestyle changes and daily habits that impact our musculoskeletal health. Learn more about three of the most common causes of back pain, plus three daily habits you can implement to improve your spine health.
3 Reasons Your Back Hurts
People typically sleep in one of three ways: on their back, their side, or their stomachs. Unfortunately, those who sleep on their stomachs are more likely to develop back pain than those who sleep on their side or back.
Not only is sleeping on your stomach putting unnecessary pressure on your lungs, but it also keeps your low back in an arched position which can slowly worsen your posture. Additionally, sleeping on an old, worn mattress can also cause back pain to develop over time.
Posture has a huge impact on spine health. If you tend to sit hunched over the computer or phone, arching your back, you’re putting a tremendous amount of pressure on your upper back and neck. This poor posture can result in a painful condition called Upper Cross Syndrome. It can also cause tension headaches and shoulder tightness.
Your hips also play a role in your posture. Sitting on an uneven surface or with objects in your back pocket can cause your hips to become misaligned, worsening your posture and potentially trigger low back pain.
Weak Core Muscles
If your abdominal muscles are weak and underused, it can cause other muscles in your back and hips to overcompensate for the lack of strength. This weakness can greatly hinder your mobility, especially when lifting or doing repetitive activities. Overcompensating can eventually lead to a muscle or ligament strain, causing pain whenever you try to bend, lift, or twist with your back. A weak core can also increase your risk of sprains and herniated discs.
Simple Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Back Pain
Try a New Sleeping Position
If you’re prone to sleeping on your stomach, practice sleeping on your side or back instead. Your spine will get the most support if you sleep on your back. Try placing a pillow beneath your neck for support while adding another one under your knees to keep your hips in a neutral position. When laying on your side, place a pillow between your knees to protect the joints. It can be difficult to change sleeping positions at first, but with enough practice and patience, you’ll be waking up pain free.
Practice Proper Posture
Keep an eye on your posture throughout the day, especially while sitting or lifting heavy objects. Make sure your spine is in a neutral position and your hips are completely aligned. Good posture can not only help you stand up taller, it can also help reduce stress on the spine. If you start slouching, take a break and practice a few stretches to improve your posture.
You can also keep your back in check with this quick posture correction exercise:
⠀***Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling, or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.
- Stand with your back against the wall, feet hip-width apart an about a foot away from the wall, knees slightly bent.
- Start by drawing your shoulders back against the wall, opening your back up through the front of the shoulders.
- Roll your pelvis forward or back so that there is a slight arch in the lower back. Control any excessive arch by engaging your lower core.
- To position your head, nod your chin slightly to bring the neck back to neutral, the plane of the face parallel to the wall.
- Hold this position for 5 seconds.
- Relax and complete 2 sets of 5 repetitions.
Strengthen Your Core
Building a strong core requires discipline and practice, but over time you’ll notice the difference. Incorporate a few core-strengthening exercises to your daily routine to give your body more support when sitting or standing upright and take pressure off those overused back muscles. The Dead Bug exercise, demonstrated below, is a great core strengthening exercise because it utilizes the lower abdominal and back muscles that support your trunk.
- Lie down on your back with your head towards the wall.
- Raise your legs one at a time so you have a 90-degree angle at your hips and knees.
- When both legs are in position, push with your hands on the wall.
- While keeping your core activated, keep your back in contact with the floor.
- Begin to slowly lower one leg down, keeping the knee bent at 90 degrees.
- Lightly tap the floor with your heel in a slow and controlled movement, then return to neutral.
- Repeat with the opposite leg.
- Complete 2 sets of 10 repetitions, twice a day.
We’ve Got Your Back!
While these common lifestyle changes may help prevent an injury, professional help is often needed to target and resolve your back injury at the source.
If back pain is keeping you from enjoying life, schedule an appointment with an Airrosti provider today. Our providers will take the time needed to pinpoint and treat the root cause of your pain, resolving injuries at the source so you can return to your favorite activities pain free.
If you prefer to find treatment from the comfort of your home, consider scheduling a remote telehealth appointment. With telehealth, we can deliver our expertise directly to you.
Give us a call at (800) 404-6050 to learn more.
Read our Medical Disclaimer here.