It’s the new year, and you know what that means: time to reassess your health goals and to make resolutions to improve your well-being. Of course, many of us make the same resolutions every year only to fall back on our plans three weeks later. If you have a history of back pain, you may want to take your resolutions a little more seriously, as your bad habits could be the main cause for your back problems. Here are five unhealthy habits that are secretly killing your back:
Smoking attacks every cell in your body, so is it any surprise that it also causes back pain? There’s no better time to quit smoking than in the beginning of the new year. Smoking tobacco reduces blood flow to your spine, which is a major factor in disc degeneration and lower back pain. The thing about smoking is that it attacks everything in your body that protects you from pain, inflammation, disease, and premature aging. In other words, if you smoke, quit already!
#2: Poor Diet & Lack of Exercise
Food and exercise are medicine. If you don’t take the proper doses or forget to take them, you will start to feel the unwanted effects. Take your eating habits seriously, as they play a major factor in your overall health and wellbeing. Eating high-processed, sugary foods and vegging out on the couch all day will increase your blood sugar, clog your arteries, and affect the ability of your internal organs to run smoothly. In other words, if you eat garbage, you’ll feel like garbage, and research has shown that this is especially true when it comes to back pain.
If your shoulders are brushing your ears and you just can’t seem to relax your muscles, you’re probably wound up so tight that you don’t even know how to relax. This is a bad sign that you don’t have an appropriate outlet for your stress. Stress is a major contributor to a multitude of health problems, including back pain. In other words, stress is a killer. When we’re stressed our muscles tense without relaxing, which leaves our muscles feeling tight and strained. If a good night’s sleep isn’t enough to release the tension in your body, an appointment with your local chiropractor may help you.
Denial is as bad of a habit as they come. If your back hurts and you decide to ignore it because you decide that it’s not worth seeing a chiropractor for, you’re only going to cause more damage to your body. Pain doesn’t go away entirely. Any wrong move can make it flare up again. If that sounds like your experience, there’s an underlying issue that needs to be addressed…and trust us, back pain doesn’t get better with time.
#5: Bad Posture
You’re darn right bad posture is an unhealthy habit. Like smoking, you were taught from a young age that slouching is bad for you and yet you do it anyway. That sounds to us like an unhealthy habit. Slouching causes many problems, most notably for your spine, neck, and lower back. Plus, it makes you appear shorter and heavier. When you slouch, your weight is thrown off balance, which can put strain on your back, causing pain. If it feels uncomfortable at first to sit and stand up straight, remember that you will eventually get used to the feeling.