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The 12 Bad Habits That are Killing Your Back
Back pain is perhaps the number one complaint that sends people to see doctors, go to the emergency room, and visit chiropractors. Back pain is the 5th most common reason people are admitted to the hospital and the 3rd most common reason for surgery! Estimates say that 56 percent of the population suffers from lower back pain and that it disrupts their daily lives, including their work, sleep, and sex lives.
Although there are many causes of back pain, there are also just as many non-invasion solutions for relieving your pain. Back pain rarely occurs because of one singular event, but is usually brought on by a combination of things– seemingly insignificant everyday habits that literally kill your back over time.
Keep reading and see if you are guilty of any of these habits so that you can make changes for the better. The last thing anyone wants or needs is a pain in the back!
1. You Watch Way Too Much TV
Parking your butt in your favorite easy chair or the sofa to watch those Netflix marathons does not make your back a happy camper. One study out of Norway showed that when teenagers spent more than 15 hours a week in front of the tube, they were 3 times more likely to have lower back pain than teenagers who were more active.
Limit the amount of time you spend watching television and take breaks to move around during commercials. Walking at least one mile each day can cut back pain in half and stretch out the spine naturally.
2. You Hate Yoga
Perhaps you don’t hate it, but you certainly don’t practice it. Some people don’t think of yoga as “real” exercise, but when you are talking about your back, yoga is perhaps the best type of exercise. Researchers from the University of Washington state that yoga can ease lower back pain much faster than regular types of exercise.
In one study, slightly more than 100 subjects were randomly assigned to three groups. Group 1 took weekly yoga classes and practiced while they were at home. Group 2 did weekly exercises that were developed by a physical therapist and also practiced at home. Group 3 received a self-help book about back care. After a three month period, the group that did yoga had much better back related function when compared to the other two groups.
3. Your Drive to Work is a Long One
Hunched over the steering wheel of a car can tighten the chest muscles and make your shoulders become more rounded. This posture makes you look fatter, really zaps energy, and causes neck and back pain. Try to sit at a 90 degree angle, or as close to 90 degrees as possible. Also, sit closer to the steering wheel so that you don’t have to stretch out your arms so much.
4. You Live in High Heels
Or you live in flip flops. Both make the feet unstable, which affect your back. High heels will force you to arch your back, which makes the muscles that control your spine work that much harder. Flip flops and backless sandals cause your feet to move from side to side. This makes you distribute your body weight much more unevenly and can cause back pain.
This doesn’t mean you can’t wear cute shoes, it just means you shouldn’t walk in them for long periods of time. Wear comfortable tennis shoes or flats while you are commuting or grocery shopping and save your flip flops for the beach and those killer heels for special occasions.
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