Backaches are nearly as common as headaches and cause as many different types of pain. Some are like a stealth bomber: You don't see 'em coming, and then WHAM! You can barely stand up or lie down. Others start with a twinge here or a ping there -- subtle warnings of the dull, throbbing misery that's about to ruin your weekend.
Whether back pain is a frontal assault or a sneak attack, the fact is you've probably been laying the groundwork for spinal troubles for months, if not years. All kinds of habits -- from how you walk to whether you smoke -- can do in your back, but here are five biggies. Fixing them could save your back . . . and your weekend.
- Smoking: Yep, it doesn't ruin just your lungs and your breath. Smoking also nearly triples your chances of back pain, especially if you're a woman. One reason: The carbon monoxide in smoke forces oxygen out of your bloodstream, so muscles, ligaments, and other back supporters become oxygen-deprived. Another: Nicotine