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8 Surprising Habits That Cause Back Pain

5. The Habit: Sitting All Day

Bad news for all of us with a desk job—it’s bad for your health… and not just because of the giant candy bowl. Sitting around all day may feel nice, but most of us don’t maintain proper posture while sitting in front of a computer all day, causing back muscles to weaken because of inactivity. Sitting also puts 40 percent more pressure on your spine than standing does.

The Fix: See whether your office would get you a standing desk—they help you keep your core and back muscles engaged all day. If that’s not an option, lean back throughout the day so you’re sitting at a 135-degree angle—it reduces compression of the discs in the spine. Finally, make sure your head is straight, not straining forward, when using the computer. (See: 10 Exercises for Better Posture)

 

6. The Habit: Stressing Out

When you’re stressed out, your whole body is too—including the muscles in your neck and back, which contract and clench up. And if you keep stressing, those tight muscles don’t get a chance to relax, causing pain.

The Fix: The good news? There are plenty of proven ways to lower your stress levels—everything from exercise to meditation to a warm bath.

 

7. The Habit: Skipping Workouts

Exercise builds muscle tone that’s essential for supporting your back. When you don’t get enough of it, you experience stiffness and weakened muscles, and spinal discs become degenerated.

The Fix: Workouts that strengthen the back and abdomen are your best best—try pairing light cardio with Pilates or strength training. (See: 5 Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain)


8. The Habit: Eating Too Much Junk Food

Not surprisingly, an excess of high-calorie, low-nutrient food leads to weight gain. And that weight gain can put a load on your back too—excess weight around the midsection causes the pelvis to pull forward, creating stress for the lower back. Overweight people are also at an increased risk of osteoarthritis.

The Fix: The good news? Dropping even five to ten percent of your body weight can greatly improve your health. Start with small healthy habits that’ll stick—swap three big meals a day for four to five smaller ones, switch from butter to a healthier alternative (like coconut oil), and drinking green tea.

Related:
27 Foods That Contain Natural Aspirin
Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain

Read more: General Health, Health, Natural Remedies

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229 comments

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3:12PM PDT on Jul 8, 2014

Also, very helpful having the method of fixing the problem underneath each section :)

3:12PM PDT on Jul 8, 2014

Thanks for sharing. Some of these I didn't know about, but as a double bass player I think that's probably the equivalent of number 2 and I can't get around that!

11:13AM PDT on Jul 6, 2014

I'm guilty of stressing out, getting grumpy sometimes and sleeping on a very old mattress, so I need to fix all of those, but many times recommendations don't take into account budgets or the stressors in one's life. I would love to see some suggestions to deal with those.

4:08AM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

Time for a change for life

9:10PM PDT on Jun 11, 2014

I was hunched over with my head forward, reading this. Oops!

5:12AM PDT on Jun 11, 2014

Those sound like good tips for your back.

2:58AM PST on Feb 23, 2014

Thanks

2:17PM PST on Jan 31, 2014

interesting information about types of shoes that can cause backache.

10:18AM PST on Jan 28, 2014

Good post!

5:56AM PST on Jan 22, 2014

thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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