Back pain is by far the most common reason why people visit our chiropractors in Ealing. We always do our best to resolve each patient’s back pain through the use of chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue therapy.
However, in many cases, the pain is often related to a patient’s lifestyle and their day-to-day habits. Unless these factors are resolved, they will experience back pain again in the future and be forced to seek further chiropractic treatment.
To help you avoid recurring back pain, this post will highlight a few lifestyle factors which may be harming your back.
Lifestyle Factors Which May Damage Your Back
Sitting For Long Periods
Spending a lot of time in a seated position can compress the spine and place a significant amount of pressure on the intervertebral discs. It also weakens the muscles that support your spine, as they are not being used as often. Over the course of many years, too much time in a chair will affect your posture, cause back pain, and damage your intervertebral discs.
The solution is to limit the amount of time you spend sitting each day. Here are a few tips:
- Walk around while on the phone instead of sitting
- Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes. Use this time to walk about and stretch.
- Stand while watching television
- Use a standing desk
- Stand while on public transport
- Walk during your lunch break
- Take up an active hobby like gardening or woodworking
- Perform some home improvements instead of sitting on the couch watching tv
Most people already know the damage that smoking can do to the lungs, but did you know it can also be hurting your back? Researchers have discovered that smoking can damage the spine’s intervertebral discs, causing premature disc degeneration. This increases the risk of herniated discs and generalised back pain.
Skipping Your Workout
Exercise provides a wide range of health benefits. However, it is particularly beneficial for the back. Working out will strengthen the muscles in the core and back which support the spine. This reduces the strain that is placed upon the spine and reduces the risk of injury.
Exercise also pushes more nutrient-rich blood to the back’s muscles, connective tissues, and intervertebral discs. This can help any damaged components heal faster, reduces inflammation, and makes your back more resilient.
The majority of people in the UK have poor posture. In most cases, it has been caused by years of sedentary behaviour, long work days sitting at a desk, or heavy smart phone use. Unfortunately, poor posture can have a significant impact on your health and damage your back.
There are several ways to improve your posture including:
- Spending less time in a chair
- Limiting the use of your smart phone, tablet, and laptop
- Staying active
- Using a standing desk
- Practicing yoga or pilates
- Improving your sleep posture
- Seeking out chiropractic treatment
Eating A Lot Of Processed Food
Processed food tends to be very high in sugar, salt, and/or fat. They often contribute to weight gain which leads to obesity. If you do become overweight from eating poorly it will begin to have an impact on your back as you will constantly be carrying more load.
Using Too Much Sunscreen
Sunscreen is a highly effective way to protect yourself against skin cancer and premature ageing. However, some sun exposure is required for the body to produce vitamin D — a vitamin that is essential for calcium absorption. This means failing to get enough vitamin D can put the health of your bones at risk.
Make it a habit to skip the sunscreen if you will only be outside for between 15 to 20 minutes. This will give your body a chance to absorb some sunlight, which will boost your vitamin D levels. This is particularly important for people who spend a lot of time indoors.
Lifting Heavy Objects Incorrectly
If you often lift heavy objects as a part of your day-to-day life or while at work, it is essential that you learn to lift them correctly. Otherwise, you may injure the muscle, ligaments, or intervertebral discs in your back. Fortunately, there are several useful guides available, including this one from the NHS.
Visiting our Ealing Chiropractors
If you currently suffering back pain or discomfort, our chiropractic team at The Spine & Joint Centre are here to help you. To book an appointment, call our clinic on 020 8900 9004.