Is Your Lifestyle Causing Back Pain?

Jan 31, 2023
Is Your Lifestyle Causing Back Pain?
Getting older means becoming more mindful of your behaviors that are harming your health. Find out if any of your tendencies are causing or worsening your back pain.

Whether or not you’ve had any prior surgeries or diagnosed conditions that lead to back pain, you might experience the symptom constantly or on occasion. In fact, back pain is one of the leading causes of missed work, and those who have back pain pay about 2.5 times more for overall healthcare costs than those without. 

Even if back pain doesn’t currently affect you, it’s never a bad time to take inventory of the lifestyle factors that put you at risk of experiencing back pain in the future. If you often experience back pain, altering certain behaviors within your control can save you the time, trouble, and costs of managing the discomfort. 

Pain management specialists Haddis T. Hagos, MD, and Brent Earls, MD, can talk to you about the lifestyle factors contributing to your back pain and help you reverse them for a more comfortable life. At Pain Management Associates LLC in Greenbelt, Maryland, you get the treatment you need for back pain while finding ways to reduce its overall impact on your physical and mental wellbeing. 

Watch that posture

Your posture is the position of your spine. If you sit or stand with your spine out of perfect alignment, the result can be strain on the muscles in your back leading to chronic back pain. Your spine has natural curves, and you should make sure they’re all in alignment and not exaggerated.

If you’re working on fixing bad posture, try to carry your head directly above your shoulders and your hips directly below them. Getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are both actions you can take to make it as easy as possible for you to have perfect posture.  

Take breaks - you deserve them

Break time during a long workday might pull you out of your flow, but it’s actually great for your back. If you work in any position with a lot of sitting, such as an office job or driving, simply minding your posture can do a lot when it comes to preventing back pain. But you should also change positions and take breaks every so often to give your back a break from being in one rigid position all day. 

Breaks are also important if your job involves a lot of heavy lifting or other repetitive tasks that involve back movement. Try to alternate between physically demanding tasks and the parts of your job that aren’t so physically demanding if you can. 

You can make life easier for yourself by positioning the objects you use frequently close to you as you work. This allows you to avoid unnecessary reaching, bending down, and twisting so you can reduce the strain movements like these place on your back muscles. 

Stop smoking

Most of us realize that smoking cessation is easier said than done, but the rewards for doing so are immense. Beyond improving your lung and heart health, avoiding smoking also keeps back pain to a minimum.

While experts aren’t quite certain why the link between smoking and back pain is so strong, one possibility is that smoking reduces blood flow to your spine by constricting your blood vessels. With less blood flow and vasculature, your back has a harder time healing from injuries and is generally more susceptible to them. 

Enjoy a balanced diet

Eating healthier is always on lists of health recommendations because it has undeniable benefits. By including plenty of nutritious fruits and vegetables in your diet, and limiting unhealthy foods like saturated fats, you can more easily maintain a healthy weight that doesn’t place excess stress on your back. Plus, nutrients like calcium and vitamin D lead to stronger and more supportive bones that are less likely to fracture. 

Want to prevent back pain or get treatment for the pain you have?

Schedule an appointment at our office by calling Pain Management Associates LLC or using the convenient online booking feature on our site.