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  • 9 Things That May Be Causing Your Back Pain

  • Stop doing these 9 things and see if your back pain is a thing of the past!

    1. Sitting for Longer Than 30 Minutes

    Sitting weakens your glute muscles, which could cause low back pain. Sitting also shortens your hip flexors, specifically your psoas muscle, which contributes to low back pain as well. We recommend getting up to move every 30 minutes. This will decrease the strain in the lower back and increase the blood flow to your spinal muscles. Follow the 40/60 sit/stand ratio and you should be good to go!

    1. Sleeping on Your Stomachrelief back pain

    Sleeping on your stomach can flatten the natural curve in the back and places the most weight on the lower back, thus leading to back pain. This sleeping position also forces you to rotate your head to one side or the other. Now you have lower back pain and neck stiffness. Try sleeping on your side with a pillow supporting the top leg. This position will prevent you from turning on your stomach and thus helps avoid the associated consequences. (Disclaimer: You do not have to be pregnant to use this technique!)

    1. Crossing Your Legs

    Crossings your legs creates pelvis imbalance where the pelvis moves sideways, forcing an overstretch in the top leg glute muscles. The deep glute muscles are used to stabilize the pelvis so that the hip bones are parallel to the floor.  When one side is weaker than the other, the results are a pelvic tilt, uneven weight distribution, functional short-leg on one side, and unnecessary wear and tear on one side.

    1. Keeping Your Wallet in Your Back Pocket

    Whether you sit or stand, keeping your wallet in your back pocket is a bad idea. It could compress your sciatic nerve causing sciatica. It also puts pressure on the piriformis muscle, a deep external hip rotator muscle, causing piriformis syndrome. Keeping your wallet in your back pocket also causes strain and weakness in the hip on the side you place your wallet.

    1. Stretching Your Lower Back

    The soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, fascia, and tendons) in the lower back is simply not designed to support the load of the torso. Think of core stability. Your core is comprised of your abdominal and posterior back muscles, and we are all aware that a strong core is essential. So why are we stretching the back? We need to be strengthening the back and stretching the hips and the leg muscles to prevent lower back pain.

    1. Sitting With Your Legs Elevated

    sitting properly to avoid back pain

    We are all guilty of sitting on the couch and lifting our feet on the coffee table. Any time your feet and knees are at the level of your hips or higher, your back flattens out. Hip flexors tighten and the back joints strain. Instead of keeping your legs elevated, try sitting on the floor with a wedge or a pillow under your sit bones. For comfort and support, you may have your back against the wall or the couch.

    1. Carrying Your Purse (or backpack) on the Same Side

    Carrying a purse on one side elevates the shoulder on that same side and compresses the back on the opposite side. This could lead to slight functional scoliosis, change in gait, and uneven weight distribution.

    1. Locking Your Kneeslocked knees cause back pain

    Locking your knees when standing will cause you to shift your belly forward and compress the joints in the lower back. Over time your back muscles tighten, and you end up having a tight and stiff back.

    1. Doing Sit-Ups

    plankStop doing sit-ups! When doing sit-ups you cannot isolate the abdominal muscles. Especially when the abdominals are weak, we start recruiting the hip flexors.  When the hip flexors become tight or too strong, they start tugging on the lumbar spine and cause back pain. Instead of sit-up exercises, try planks on the floor and then on a ball.

    And there you have it; 9 things which may be the source of your back pain! Breaking habits is not an easy task, so take one bad habit at a time and work on it. At the end of the day, a little consciousness and correction of these 9 actions that may be causing your back pain will save your back in the long run.

    As always, stay well adjusted. Visit your trusted chiropractor at Chiro-Health when in pain, but most importantly, work on maintaining your spinal health and wellness. To learn more about how chiropractic can be an alternative to medication and surgery, like us on Facebook, Instagram, or call us for an appointment.