Did you know that the help of doctors are sought more by people with back pain than those with a bout of the common cold? This is a testament that the spine is under a lot of stress. Luckily, experts say that about 80 percent of all back pain cases do not really require medical treatment and they tend to go away on their own. But why go through such ordeal when, in the first place, you can avoid back pain that can range anywhere from mild to debilitating?
Your spine has 3 very important roles — to protect the spinal cord, support your body weight and provide flexibility. Needless to say, your spine has to be in tip-top shape always. The secret is to take very good care of your spine. Since the entire length of it is made up of several different vertebrae (bones of the back), muscles and ligaments, it pays to have a healthy lifestyle, well-balanced diet and regular exercise.
Also, it’s a smart move to avoid certain things that can have a damaging effect on the spine right away or in the long run. So what are these habits that you should turn your back from? Here they are:
You Sleep on an Old Mattress
If your current mattress is over 10 years old, chances are it’s no longer giving your spine the support it needs as you dream away. The wisest step to take if you don’t want your back to ache all the time is to buy a new mattress. Before you pay for it, make sure that it’s neither too hard nor too soft — just right to keep your back supported.
Your Bag Weighs a Ton
Do you really need to bring a lot of things with you and put your spine at risk? Especially if you like using a bag that you sling on one shoulder and it weighs more than 10 percent of your total body weight, your back is in grave danger. Ditch that heavy bag if you don’t want to injure your spine, which could cause a lot of pain and cost a lot of money!
You Wear Really High Shoes
Putting on pumps that are simply too high can put a lot of strain on your back. Who needs slimmer looking legs if you have a hard time getting off your bed because of your achy and swollen back? Wearing flats all the time is also a no-no for certain foot types. The secret is finding the heel height that is perfect for your foot and posture.
You Sit All the Time
It’s no secret that sitting for extended periods of time is bad for your figure and overall health. Well, it’s something that can also hurt your spine in the long run. If your work requires you to sit in front of a computer from hours on end, take frequent short breaks just to have your back stretched. Also, use an ergonomically-designed office chair.
You Take Long Drives
Whether your home is several miles from your office or the traffic in your city is just downright terrible especially during rush hours, long drives can leave your spine health in shambles. While behind the wheel, maintain proper posture — your seat should be close to the steering wheel and you should sit at a 90-degree angle.
You’re Always Stressed Out
Everyone knows that stress is something that can ruin your health big time, especially if it’s the chronic kind. It can also be very bad for your spine as stress can actually cause too much fat to accumulate in the midsection. You don’t want that to happen as it can leave not only your figure in shambles, but also your back.
Your Lifestyle is Sedentary
Exercising on a regular basis helps keep unwanted pounds at bay, thus saving your spine as well as other weight-bearing joints from supporting unnecessary weight all the time. In addition, avoid doing a lot of crunches and sit-ups most especially in the wrong fashion as they may actually hurt your lower back, say fitness experts.