We have all been victims of back pains at least once in our lives. There are several causes for back, side, and lower back pain that are medical conditions, some might even be conditions from birth. However, many people suffer from back pain due to poor day-to-day habits. Back pain usually happens instantly and can easily be controlled with a few adjustments to our routine.
Some common causes of back pain are listed below. If you have been suffering from back pain for a few days and have not been able to find relief through adjustments to posture or changes in habits, it would be a wise decision to consult a doctor. Ideally, people in the age ranges of 30 to 70 should not ignore back pains and should take care to ensure the spine and back are taken care of.
Let us look at common causes of back pain and how you can improve your habits to lead a better and fitter life.
Driving is a known cause of bad backs and aches. Driving requires alertness and constant sitting for long periods of time without respite. Many lower back pains in adults arise from long hours of commute due to traffic conditions and bad posture. If you spend more than an hour each day driving your car around, there are chances you might suffer from a chronic lower back problem.
To avoid this concern, set your seat and backrest in the upright position with your back resting wholly against the seat. For those of you who have the liberty of adjusting the lumbar portion of the seat, ensure that the adjustment is in a comfortable position to secure your lower back. If you do not have this option, then you might consider purchasing a driving pillow that cushions your lower back and part of your hips to bring relief while driving.
2. Bad bed
More often than not, bad beds and mattresses are a leading cause of back pain. Hard or lumpy mattresses and beds that are not the correct size and height can also lead to issues with your lower, mid, and sides. To correct this concern, check your mattress and its viability. Mattresses are not meant to be a one-time investment and should be changed every few years. A soft or medium-hard mattress will be able to make a world of difference to your sleeping patterns and help you with restful, undisturbed sleep.
If changing the mattress is not a good option for you, then you could consider investing in a mattress topper to help with back pain. Mattress toppers come in a variety of materials including memory gel foam and can adapt to your body shape and reduce the stress on your back and sides. These toppers are placed on top of existing mattresses and can be used and flipped as often as you need.
You should also consider a good pillow, improper position when sleeping can also cause strain on the spine. Try looking for a pillow for side sleepers if you sleep on your side, these tend to be firmer pillows.
Bad sleep, regardless of bed can also cause back pain because the muscles supporting your spine are not properly rested if there is ambient noise opt for ear plugs and if light then gets a sleeping mask.
3. Sitting at a desk all-day
Most jobs today are in offices. Office jobs directly correlate to desk jobs. Most people sit at their desks for far too many hours. Taking breaks and doing work at a comfortable pace seem to be forgotten topics in most daily routines. This sedentary lifestyle is another cause of chronic back pain due to sloppy habits. Many offices nor offer standing desks (without the option of a chair) to get work done. While this may also cause some discomfort initially, getting used to a standing desk would help your back immensely. Not only do they alleviate back pain, but also assist in correcting posture and improving productivity at work.
If your office does not offer this facility, then take a break from your desk and walk around the office every hour for five minutes. You could use this break to meet colleagues face-to-face instead of calling them on the telephone, or you could walk to the printer to take printouts, and also get yourself a beverage to freshen your mind.
4. Not enough exercise
Like sitting, not getting enough exercise is also a cause of back pain. Since many of us lead sedentary lives that require us to be sitting for long hours either while we commute, or at work, it is necessary to add some exercise to our routine. Taking the stairs once a day and walking around the office might only help up to an absolute limit. While these activities will help alleviate the pain, they will not help eliminate the problem entirely.
Make time for 45 minutes to an hour of brisk walking in the mornings or evenings after work to get the blood circulating and control stress.
Physical activities like running, jogging, and brisk walking can help improve the core and back muscles of the body to improve posture, get fit, deal with stress better, and lead a healthy lifestyle. You could also cycle or join a pilates or yoga class to help with getting enough exercise You could also consider cardio machines in the gym like the treadmill or rowing machine or even opt for muscle building such as via a sit-up bench.
5. Bending too many times
As adults, we are used to lifting small and heavy objects daily. Many older adults also enjoy playing with kids and grandkids. While there is no greater joy than spending time with our loved ones, it can take a severe toll on the lower back and shoulders. If you are planning to play with children and grandchildren, then ensure you do not hold them for too long.
If your children are infants, then consider the assistance of another person. The same goes for parents of toddlers who push strollers all day long. Keep your back upright while pushing a stroller or pram and avoid bending forward from the waist. Take turns with your spouse or partner to push the stroller and avert excessive back pain.
If you have to lift bags of groceries and other items, then use a trolley to transport the packets. If you cannot, then bend your knees while you lift the bags instead of bending from the waist to raise them.