Not having an understanding of the cause of your back pain only makes getting help seem impossible. Because of this, we believe that it’s important to educate our patients about some of the most surprising causes of back pain. We hope that once you’ve read through this list you may have some further insight into your back pain.
What you eat affects your health in a variety of ways, including the health of your back and spine.
A poor diet can contribute to weight issues and carrying excess weight on your body can lead to back pain. This is caused by increasing the amount of weight placed on the front of your body, forcing your spine out of its natural, neutral position. In addition to this, being overweight also places increased strain on your muscles and can even weaken your joints.
Even if you’re not overweight, certain foods containing dairy, sugar, and gluten can cause your joints to become inflamed, which is another factor that can cause back pain.
Watching what you eat to avoid weight gain or avoid inflammatory foods will go a long way in preventing back pain.
Too Little or Too Much Exercise
Similarly to diet, too little exercise can lead to weight gain, which leads to back pain. However, even if it doesn’t lead to weight gain, not getting enough exercise isn’t healthy for your back. You’re meant to be walking around and moving, so not having a regular exercise routine of some sort that gets you moving will only harm your back.
Regular exercise will also tone and strengthen your muscles, not only helping you keep extra weight off, but strengthening your muscles so that they can successfully support your back, avoiding pain.
However, back pain can also be caused by strain due to too much exercise, improper form used when exercising, or even an injury caused by athletic activity.
Experts recommend performing cardiovascular and strength training exercises at least twice a week, focusing on exercises that will strengthen your abdominal and back muscles. Strengthening these muscles will keep them strong enough to support your back, and having a regular exercise routine will keep your spine happy and healthy! Just remember to be aware of your form and to listen to your body to avoid straining your muscles.
Your Desk Job
Having a desk job can also lead to a sedentary lifestyle that stops you from getting the regular movement your back needs. A desk job requires you to sit in the spot every day for hours on end, which can lead to stiffness and pain.
This can also be applied to other jobs that require driving long distances, or anything else that requires you to sit for long periods without moving much.
The chair you sit in at your desk job can exacerbate this as well; if your chair isn’t properly supporting your body or promoting proper posture, this will lead to back pain. Whether you working at the office or from home, make sure that your back is properly supported and that you’re sitting with proper posture.
Apart from sitting in an ergonomic chair, it’s also recommended that you walk away from your desk every 45 to 60 minutes to take a short walk. You can also invest in a desk that converts from sitting to standing, so you can alternate between the two positions throughout your day. Just remember to maintain good posture!
You probably have a pair of shoes that you’ve worn and loved for years, but they may be contributing to your back pain.
While wearing a good, comfortable shoe, especially when you’ll be walking for long distances, is important for the health of your back, but if your shoes are too worn, they can affect your movement, leading to back pain. It may help to get new shoes with proper support for your back, especially if your job requires you to stand or walk around for long periods. You can also place inserts in your current shoes, as they may be able to provide support without requiring you to buy a new pair of shoes.
Of course, wearing shoes that aren’t supportive or appropriate for walking, such as stilettos, should be avoided as well.
Bags & Backpacks
If your day-to-day activities require you to carry a heavy bag or backpack, this can force your spine out of its correct alignment, leading to back pain. Even a heavy, overstuffed wallet in your back pocket can cause this by forcing you into an awkward position when you sit.
The position of your spine, combined with the potential weight the bag places on your shoulder or shoulders, contributes to back pain.
A reminder for the next time you go out: if you don’t need to carry it with you, leave it at home, for the sake of your back!
We all know that smoking isn’t healthy, but did you know that it can cause or even worsen back pain?
Smoking deprives your cells of oxygen, leading to weakened muscles and, ultimately, back pain. It can also cause your spinal discs to become dehydrated, which plays a large role in the degeneration of spinal discs. Studies also show that smokers are three times more likely than non-smokers to develop back pain.
If you suffer from back pain and are also a smoker, you may want to consider working your way toward quitting.
They probably aren’t the first things you’d think of as a cause of your back pain, but stress, anxiety, and depression can cause physical pain that can potentially manifest as back pain. Back pain is also known to be an indicator of stress.
In addition to this, if you’re already dealing with pain, mental health issues can lower your pain tolerance, making it feel even worse.
Managing these issues in whatever way works best for your needs, or seeking help if you’re unsure of what will work for you, will help in reducing mental health-related pain.
Come See Us At The Spine Institute Northwest!
At the Spine Institute Northwest, we want to help educate you on the cause of your back pain so that you can get the help you need! Conveniently located in the Seattle area, our team of dedicated surgeons is available to guide you to a more mobile life!
Contact us today at (888) 712-0318, or visit our site to set an appointment for a free MRI review. We offer the total care package that allows us to make a personalized plan that will ensure you can start living a pain-free life!
Don’t Wait, Get Back Your Life! Call the Spine Institute Northwest today!