8 Reasons Your Lifestyle Could Be Causing Your Back Pain

Photo of author

(Newswire.net — April 25, 2016) Verona, NJ — Chronic back pain, an experience common to many Americans, can range from annoying to debilitating. While skeletal problems and other medical conditions can sometimes be the causes of this pain, there are ways in which our lifestyles can also contribute to chronic pain. Below are eight common lifestyle causes of back pain and ways to help alleviate it.

1. Being overweight: Carrying around extra weight, especially on the middle of the body, is a common cause of pain. The extra weight around the abdomen pushes the pelvis forward and puts more stress on the spine. It can also increase your risk for a herniated disc or a pinched nerve. When planning a healthy diet, you should include plenty of fruits and vegetables and limit the amount of processed foods you consume. All of this can help with weight loss and decrease the amount of stress on your back caused by excess weight.

2. Lack of exercise: Not getting enough exercise can cause your back and abdominal muscles to become stiff and weak, which can contribute to pain. Exercising regularly will help you develop stronger muscles that are more limber and resistant to stress. It will also help you lose weight in combination with a healthy diet plan. Even 20 minutes a day of cardiovascular exercise will help. If you are not used to daily exercise, you can start with a vigorous walk routine during your lunch break and step up your exercise intensity as you develop strength and stamina.

3. Sitting posture: Posture is really important for having a back free of pain. Sitting forward or slumped over in a chair can overstretch spinal ligaments and strain discs. While some recommend using standing desks to overcome the stress of sitting in a desk chair all day, standing for prolonged periods of time can also cause pain. It’s recommended that you sit up as straight as you can in your chair and keep your knees in line with your hips. Also, remember to take frequent breaks to stand up, stretch, and walk around to decrease the chance of having pain related to work injuries.

4. Stress-related muscle tightness: We’ve heard over and over that stress can be an insidious killer, but stress also contributes to back pain because it can cause prolonged muscle tightness, which can lead to strain and discomfort. You can avoid stress-related pain by remembering to incorporate self-care into your daily routine. Make sure you are eating healthy food, exercising, getting enough sleep, and doing something you find fun and relaxing each day.

5. Lifting: The way that we lift and move heavy objects can also be a lifestyle cause of pain in your back and also contributes to work injuries if your job requires a lot of lifting. The best way to bend down and pick up a heavy object is to bend with your knees and to keep your back straight, stomach tight, and shoulders in line with your hips. Always make sure you move slowly and take breaks between lifting heavy objects as another preventative tactic to keep back pain away.

6. Smoking: There tends to be higher incidences of pain in the back among smokers than among non-smokers. This is likely because nicotine thickens blood vessel walls, restricting blood flow to muscles all over the body, including the back. If you smoke and suffer from back pain, the two could be related. Consult with a health professional to talk about quitting smoking to relieve or diminish your chronic back pain.

7. Pregnancy: Pregnancy has been known to cause pain in the back because of a woman carries a much greater amount of weight around her midsection and hips than usual when she is pregnant, straining the back. Of course, this is not a “lifestyle” that can be changed in itself, but there are ways to alleviate pregnancy-associated pain. One way to help alleviate pain is to incorporate gentle exercise into your daily routine. Many towns have prenatal yoga classes, which cater to the exercise needs of expectant mothers.

8. Restless sleep: Restless sleep has also been associated with pain in your back, probably due to anything from tossing and turning, a higher incidence of stress among poor sleepers, and a bad mattress. If you chronically suffer from poor sleeping and pain, it is recommended that you discuss ways to improve your sleep with a health professional. There may be ways you can improve your sleep, or if your doctor suspects you may have a health problem interfering with your sleep, such as sleep apnea, you may be able to participate in a sleep study to pinpoint the problem and develop a treatment plan.

Observing your lifestyle and seeing if any of these eight lifestyle causes could be contributing to your chronic back pain could help you take the next step toward managing your symptoms and living a pain-free life just by making a few small lifestyle changes.

About Champey Pain Group

Dr. Edward J. Champey, MD specializes in Advanced Interventional Pain Management in New Jersey. He is Board Certified Anesthesiologist who has personally performed all Pain Management procedures at Mine Hill Surgical Center, located in Morris County, NJ. At the Champey Pain Group, we approach each patient to improve function, repair injured tissues, decrease pain, and improve their quality of life. We provide high-quality care to our patients in accordance with Accepted and Recognized Standards while offering treatment for chronic and acute pain sufferers. Our mission is to reduce or eliminate reliance on prescription medication and to avoid possible surgery.

Champey Pain Group

1 Mount Prospect Avenue
Verona, NJ 07044
United States