5 Things You Do Everyday That Are Hurting Your Back

You likely know a few common sense things that can negatively impact your overall health. Not staying hydrated, not getting enough sleep, and not consuming enough vitamins and minerals, for example, is a recipe for a sluggish immune system.

But, there are some things that could be exacerbating your back pain that you may be unaware of. You could be ramping up the pain without even knowing it. 

At Princeton Pain & Spine Institute, in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Dinash Yanamadula, MD, and our team are dedicated not only to treating your back pain but equipping you with the tools and knowledge you need to avoid bad habits that could be making your back pain worse. 

Background on your back

Second only to your brain when it comes to nerve concentration, your back contains a key part of your central nervous system. It houses your spinal cord, which is one of the most important structures in your whole body.

Protected by 33 vertebrae, your spinal cord acts as the headquarters for all of the peripheral nerves that go out into your body and send and receive messages to and from your brain. 

In addition to being command central for your central nervous system, your back also bears the majority of your body weight and makes it possible for you to bend, twist, and lift.

Lifestyle habits that can contribute to back pain

With so many important nerves and tissues in one area, it’s not surprising that it can be easy to irritate your back. It’s also easy to see how a traumatic injury or disease, such as arthritis, can put your back out of commission. 

However, what if you have back pain that’s not due to disease or injury? If your back pain seems to come from nowhere, any of these five lifestyle factors could be the reason.

1. You have a bad posture

Your spine has a unique design, perfect for holding your body weight and protecting the important nerves within your spinal cord. Poor posture can alter the precise curvature of your spine, damage the discs within it, and disrupt how your back distributes and carries your weight.

You can address your poor posture by being aware of how you walk, stand, and sit. Your head should be placed squarely above your shoulders when you’re sitting and standing upright, and your weight should be evenly distributed. Do your best to avoid slouching or slumping when you’re standing or sitting. Dr. Yanamadula can give you even more posture-promoting tips. 

2. You have a sedentary lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle is the sneakiest reason your back may hurt. Whether you’re stuck at a desk job or spending too much time on the couch and not enough on your feet, lack of physical exercise can put you at risk for back pain. 

When your back muscles are weak and unused, they have to work much harder to do their job properly. This can leave you with a stiff, painful back. 

You should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Try adding a walk to your lunch break or taking a swim at your local gym. If you’re consistent, you can get the movement your back needs to loosen and strengthen your muscles with just a few minutes a day.

3. You’re overweight

Getting more exercise can help fortify your back muscles and also address another common cause of back pain: being overweight. If you’re overweight or obese, the extra weight you’re carrying around can put undue stress on your spine and muscles, which can result in significant aches and pains. 

Start slowly by adding a little bit of exercise into your daily routine and being more mindful of what you’re eating. These small adjustments can eventually have a significant impact on your back and overall health.

4. You smoke

From cancer to wrinkled skin, smoking can put you at risk for a laundry list of health problems, including increased risk of back pain. Smoking can reduce blood flow to your lower back, which can prevent the discs in your spine from getting the nutrients they need. 

5. You lift objects incorrectly

Whether you’re a manual laborer or an avid gym-goer, lifting heavy objects improperly can severely stress and strain your back, especially if you already have posture issues. Lift heavy objects with your legs and knees, while keeping your back straight.

Treating back pain

No matter what’s causing your back pain, Dr. Yanamadula can get to the bottom of it. After carefully assessing and evaluating your symptoms, your lifestyle, and your medical history, he can create a customized plan to treat and manage your pain.

His comprehensive list of treatment options includes:

There’s no reason to spend another day frustrated by your back pain. Our expert team specializes in discovering the sources of back pain and treating them effectively. If you’re ready to start living a pain-free life, book an appointment online or over the phone with Princeton Pain & Spine Institute today.

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