Article By A Physical Therapist
If you’re in your late 20s or early 30s, there are great chances that you’ve already experienced your first backache. And as shocking as that is, it doesn’t always have to be a red flag.
We, as physiotherapists, come across a variety of lifestyle mistakes that cause back aches to perfectly healthy individuals.
If you’re suffering from back pain as well, go through this list of everyday mistakes you might be making to help you make a diagnosis of your own before you make a visit to the doctor (which you still should).
Posture is your body’s alignment. A correct posture is essential for the best working of your skeleton and muscles. As soon as the normal body posture starts to change, the whole biomechanics of the body changes. Certain muscles become more stretched than usual, some become shortened, some fatigued. This muscular imbalance then causes back pain. It could be in the upper or lower back, or even both.
Try to keep your posture in check. There are different ways to do so. Walk and sit in front of a mirror and self examine. Ask a friend to examine you. Or use pictures and videos.
You can then visit a physical therapist to realign your body and maintain a good posture.
Prolonged sitting or standing
Similar to a wrong posture, a prolonged posture is also exhausting for the body. Certain muscles help you sit and stand straight. Using them for longer periods of time can cause fatigue, hence back pain.
It is better to always take breaks between activities of long sitting or standing.
If you have been sitting for hours, take a quick walk, stretch out and come back. Similarly, if you’ve been standing or walking for a long period of time, sit or lie down for a couple minutes.
Whether it’s in the gym, at home or at the office, lifting is an underrated but very important part of your everyday life. Improper lifting (one that usually involves your back instead of your knees) can put a lot of stress on your spine and back muscles. One wrong move can cause serious pain and damage to your back.
Whether it’s picking up keys from the floor, a dumbbell or a baby, be very conscious about your lifting method.
Always bend your knees and keep your back relaxed and neutral. Use your LEGS to pick up weight, not your back.
Sleeping on an inappropriate mattress
This one, I’m sure, most of you already know about. But we often miss the most obvious things when in pain or stress. So make sure you check this one right away. A mattress too hard or too soft for you can put unnecessary load and stress on your back muscles. Your back needs the optimum support while resting. Any imbalance in that supporting surface can cause back pain.
Try paying attention to your sleeping surface and change your mattress immediately if you think it’s causing you the pain.
Wearing the wrong shoes.
Again, a very obvious but easily missed point. Wearing shoes with a hard sole, a very thin sole or a heel too high can produce excessive direct or indirect load on your spine and back muscles.
Make sure you buy comfortable shoes.
It’s 2020. You barely ever need to compromise on style when it comes to comfortable shoes. Find your perfect pair and your back will thank you.
I know we said 5 but here’s a bonus point.
Another very common reason of back pain amongst the young generation is:
Carrying heavy weight on the back.
That’s right. Students, teachers, sportsmen, all carry SOME kind of heavy luggage on their back quite often. If that’s the case with you, reduce the amount of weight you’re carrying, rest between long periods of carrying that weight, or keep shifting the weight between arms. Avoid loading your back (or any part of the body) for long periods of time.
If you have spotted your possible cause in this list, it’s time you start paying attention to your everyday activities because as small and invisible as they might be, they make a huge difference. I think we’ve established that already. It’s true what they say after all: The little things DO matter the most.
(At the end of the day, if your back hurts way too much, or it has been progressively getting worse and has started to radiate to different parts of the body, go see a medical practitioner immediately.)