While our clinic provides much more than just back pain relief, it’s true that most people do end up at the Chiropractor because of back pain – often low back pain. Over the years, we’ve seen (as has pretty much every chiropractor) that there really are a handful of common activities which cause 90% of the back pain we see. Want to find out the worst culprits? Read on!
Back pain is a prevalent health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. While various factors contribute to back pain, our daily activities play a significant role in its development. Surprisingly, some of the most common activities we engage in unknowingly put immense strain on our backs, leading to discomfort and potential injuries. Some of these common issues are obvious problems for the back, but some seem to be almost an inevitable part of normal life. Because of this, we often don’t realise just how much strain we are putting on our backs!
In today’s digital age, many of us find ourselves sitting for extended periods, whether at a desk, in front of a computer, or during long commutes. Prolonged sitting places significant pressure on the lower back, leading to muscle imbalances, spinal misalignment, and reduced blood flow to the area. Over time, this can result in chronic back pain, stiffness, and a higher risk of developing conditions like herniated discs. To counteract the effects of prolonged sitting, incorporate regular breaks to stretch and walk, invest in an ergonomic chair, and maintain proper posture while seated.
Lifting Heavy Objects Incorrectly
This one is more obvious – Improper lifting techniques are a leading cause of acute back pain and injuries. However, it’s not always lifting heavy objects which does the damage. Whether it’s lifting grocery bags, moving furniture, or carrying luggage, using the wrong form can strain the back muscles and ligaments. To protect your back, remember to bend your knees, keep the object close to your body, and avoid twisting while lifting. If the item is too heavy, ask for assistance or use tools like dollies to aid in moving.
Poor Posture while Using Electronic Devices
The rise of smartphones and tablets has brought about a new concern for back health – “tech neck” or “text neck.” For a long time, Chiropractors run awareness campaigns about this issue, but today it’s so prevalent most seem to have given up! There’s no question though – constantly looking down at screens for prolonged periods puts extra stress on the cervical spine, leading to neck and upper back pain. The human head weighs around 10-12 pounds, but as the angle of tilt increases, the effective weight on the spine escalates significantly. Be conscious of your posture while using electronic devices, hold them at eye level, and take breaks to stretch and realign your neck and back.
While exercise is essential for overall health, certain high-impact activities can contribute to back pain if not performed correctly. Contact sports are an obvious area where injuries can occur, but really any exercise which causes the body to take a shock can result in an injury. Activities like running on hard surfaces, intense jumping exercises, and improper weightlifting techniques can strain the back. If you enjoy high-impact exercises, ensure you have proper footwear, warm up adequately, and incorporate core-strengthening exercises into your routine to provide stability and support to your back.
Carrying Heavy Bags
Whether it’s a backpack, purse, or messenger bag, carrying a heavy load asymmetrically places stress on one side of the back, leading to muscle imbalances and strain. Over time, this can result in discomfort and pain. Choose bags with wide, padded straps and wear them across both shoulders to distribute the weight evenly. Clean out your bag regularly to avoid carrying unnecessary items that add to the burden.
Is back pain avoidable?
Back pain is a common and often preventable ailment that can significantly impact our daily lives. By recognizing the activities that contribute to back pain, we can take proactive measures to protect our spinal health. Incorporate regular breaks and proper posture during prolonged sitting, lift heavy objects with care, be mindful of your posture while using electronic devices, opt for low-impact exercises, and carry bags sensibly. By making these small adjustments to our daily routines, we can pave the way for a happier, healthier back and improved quality of life – but for all that, it’s probably not possible to totally avoid many of these activities…. that’s where Chiropractic can help!