Worst Habits That Hurt Your Back:
Back pain isn’t just about heavy lifting or sleeping the wrong way. Here, 14surprising everyday habits that cause aches and pains—and how to feel better.
Get to the Bottom of Your Back Pain
Back pain sends more patients to doctors than any condition other than the common cold.
It’s the fifth most common reason for hospitalizations and third most commoncause of surgery. And 56% of people with lower-back aches say symptomsdisrupt their daily routines, including sleep and sex. Talk about a pain inthe...back.There are many possible causes of back pain, which means there are alsomany non-invasive solutions, according to Todd Sinett, a chiropractor andcoauthor of
The Truth about Back Pain
. "Back pain is rarely onecatastrophic event," he says in the book, "but several situations combiningto create pain." And it turns out that some seemingly insignificanteveryday habits can take a big toll on your back over time. Here, the top14 mistakes that may be causing your aches and how to correct them.
1. You’re Chained to Your Desk
Did you know that sitting puts 40% more pressure on your spine than standing?
Let’s be honest: Maintaining proper posture is probably the last thing you’rethinking about when under a major work deadline. And on a jam-packedday, regular stretching breaks may not seem like a wise way to spend yourtime. But skipping these habits may cause your back to suffer. That’sbecause back muscles will weaken if you don’t use them; inactive jointslose lubrication and age more quickly.Fix It: Sitting at a 135-degree angle can reduce compression of the discs inthe spine, so lean back slightly every now and then. Do it when you take aphone call or a coworker stops by to chat, Sinett recommends. Make sureyour office chair supports the curve of your spine, he says: Your lowerback should be supported, and your head should be straight—not lurchingforward—when you look at your computer screen. Get up and walk around for a couple of minutes every half hour—take trips to get water,use the bathroom, or grab papers off the printer.