There can be an almost overwhelming number of variables that contribute to your overall health, and back pain is no exception. Even when pain stems directly from an issue with part of your spine, our body’s systems are so complexly intertwined and interconnected that seemingly unrelated behaviors or issues may be impacting the nature of your pain. Here are four questions you can ask yourself to check whether these surprising factors may be contributing to your back pain.
Do your clothes fit you properly?
No, we’re not worried about whether you’re fashionable! Whatever you’re wearing, if your clothing is ill-fitting it can cause discomfort — and that includes back pain. For example, an ill-fitting bra that does not provide adequate supportive can put extra stress on a woman’s shoulders and upper back. A jacket tight around your arms or shoulders can cause compression and strain, especially if it is compromising your range of movement. Though it’s not as much of a fit issue, shirts and sweaters that button up the front are often more comfortable for back pain sufferers. Pullovers are more likely to make you bend and twist, which can exacerbate pain. If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your wardrobe, take a quick inventory to make sure that your clothing allows you to be comfortable.
Do you smoke, or do you live or work in an area where you’re exposed to secondhand smoke?
Tobacco smoke has a serious impact on much more than your lungs. Smoking has major ramifications for your cardiovascular system, and your body has to work harder to for efficient circulation. You might think of how lack of circulation can make you experience coldness in your extremities, but that lack of blood flow also means that your body’s ability to heal is impeded. Fewer white blood cells are making it to damaged tissue, so injuries will heal more slowly. If you’re a smoker, make a plan to quit. If you live or work in an area where others’ smoking impacts you, think about what you can do to change the situation. Supporting someone else’s efforts to quit smoking can help you both to be healthier.
Are you staying up to date with all of your health concerns?
If you’re dealing with chronic pain, it’s important to have a proper diagnosis. At times it can be difficult to determine where a physical pain originates, especially if it is unrelated to an injury. For example, people sometimes experience pain in the jaw that may be confused with pain in the ear or the neck. It can be the same with your back: Back pain can in some cases actually be a symptom of an injury elsewhere in the body. This is particularly true with problems with the feet and hips, which can cause you to alter your posture or the way that you walk. Adjustments you may not even realize that you are making can contribute to back pain.
If you are experiencing chronic back pain, don’t wait for relief. Find out now why so many patients have traveled from Canada to visit the Spine Institute Northwest. Check out our video testimonials, or call us today at 888-712-0318.