Lower back pain is a common complaint, and if you suffer from it, the pain can make simple everyday activities like walking, taking the stairs, tying your shoes, and even sleeping unbearable. Although many people have chronic conditions or injuries that cause their discomfort, lifestyle choices may also be the culprit. Check out the list below and see if you can make some changes to prevent the pain.
- You sit most of the day. If you sit at a desk or in a car most hours of your day, you're putting 40 percent more pressure on your spine than if you were standing. You're also most likely not taking many breaks to stretch and move around, and as the old saying goes, if you don't use it you'll lose it. Back muscles weaken when they're not used, and the vertebrae lose lubrication, which translates to pain. If you can't break free from your desk job entirely, break free several times a day to walk around and stretch out your muscles.
- Your mattress is how old? Mattresses don't last forever and should be replaced every five to seven years. After that time, they're no longer providing you with the best support. Also note that a firmer mattress isn't necessarily the best choice for preventing back pain. It's best to try our different types of mattresses to see which one feels best to you and your back.
- You're all about the ab exercises. A strong core protects your back, but crunches and sit-ups only work your abs. If one side of your core is stronger than the other, it creates an imbalance. So be sure to include strength training moves in your weekly routine that target your back muscles such as Superman lifts and opposite limb extensions.
- You're not exercising. When you have lower back pain, you're most likely not motivated to work out, but actually exercise can help to alleviate pain. Lack of exercise can delay healing and make your pain even worse. Walking is a great low impact way to get moving, but practicing yoga is proven to improve circulation, reduce stress, and promote back pain recovery.
- Fashion is important to you. High heels and over-sized purses are popular, but they are both horrible for your back. The bigger the bag, the more stuff you fill it with, so you end up carrying so much weight around with you, no wonder your back, neck, and shoulders hurt. And heels? They throw your posture all out of whack and can cause a major pain in the neck, back, and legs. If you suffer from this kind of discomfort, try making the switch to some adorable flats instead.
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