Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 21, 2018
Spine pain can get in the way of our everyday life, but is your everyday life increasing your risk for back problems? If you’re not careful, your lifestyle choices can put you at a much higher risk for back pain and problems. Below, we take a look at some lifestyle choices that can contribute to spine problems, and how you can protect your back throughout the day.
Not Enough Exercise
Although exercise is taxing on your spine, it’s very beneficial for all the muscles and ligaments that support your spine and help it perform ideally. If you’re not exercising enough, your spinal muscles are prone to atrophy, and this can make it easier for spinal discs or vertebrae to shift. If you’re not exercising, make it a point to get out and move around for 30 minutes at least three times a week.
Too Much Exercise
On the other side of the spectrum, you can get too much of a good thing. When it comes to your body, listen to what it’s telling you. It’s fine to push through general soreness, but if you hurt your back lifting boxes or tweak it when you miss a step on the stairs, don’t try to power through a workout that can make the injury worse. Alternate between upper body and lower body workouts, as well as between cardio and lifting so you aren’t overstressing the same areas each day.
We get it, when you come home from a long day at work, it’s nice to sit down on the couch and watch your favorite TV show. The problem sets in if you spend eight hours at a desk and then come home and spend hours on the couch. We don’t often sit with proper posture, which means a lot of stress is channeled through our lumbar spines. People who sit a lot each day are prone to herniated discs and pinched nerves in the lumbar spine.
Smoking damages blood vessels that bring healthy blood to structures and soft tissues in the spine. This in turn leads to disc degeneration and puts you at risk for disc herniations or fractures. You have thousands of reasons to give up smoking, and protecting your spine is one of them.
Your diet plays a big role in the health of your body and your spine. If you’re eating a lot of carbs and sugars, you’re prone to gain weight, which will put more stress on your spine. Moreover, junk food contributes to the development of inflammation in our spine, which can put pressure on nearby nerves and structures. Make sure you are getting a variety of foods and plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean meats, and your spine will thank you for it.
Do you like to ride your motorcycle without a helmet, or do you routinely hop in the car without buckling your seatbelt? When we ignore safety gear, we expose our spine to risk of severe injury. Practice proper safety measures when working from heights or while in a vehicle, and you’ll reduce your risk of a significant spinal injury.