If you’re like 80 percent of the population, you’ve probably experienced some degree of back pain at one time or another. Though there are many possible sources of discomfort affecting the spine and its related parts, some bad habits can also contribute to back pain. Marina del Rey spine surgeons discuss 5 of these habits and offer tips on how to avoid them.
1. Not Exercising
A sedentary lifestyle contributes to increased muscle weakness and stiffness. Your spine also needs physical activity to deliver nourishment to spinal discs. Back-friendly exercise can include:
- Casual or brisk walking 20 to 30 minutes a day
- Swimming or water aerobics
- Yoga or Pilates
- Core strengthening exercises
2. Standing or Sitting with Poor Posture
Anything that throws off spinal alignment is going to place added strain on bones, muscles, and joints. Correct your posture by:
- Placing one foot in front of the other to ease back pressure
- Keeping your chin in line with your shoulders
- Avoiding heels that are more than an inch high
- Sitting with your hips a bit higher than your knees
3. Putting on Weight
Excess weight changes your center of gravity and places more pressure on your spine. Being overweight also increases your chances of developing high blood pressure and diabetes, conditions that can also contribute to back pain. Strive to stay within ten pounds of your ideal weight.
4. Improper Lifting
Bending forward to lift something heavy can quickly result in a back injury or back spasm. The same is true for repetitious lifting that puts too much pressure on your spine. Do a proper lift by:
- Bending at your hips and knees
- Placing your feet shoulder-width apart
- Keeping your back straight and chest out
- Leading with your hips
The nicotine in cigarette smoke affects blood flow to the spongy discs that cushion your spine. Smoking also hinders calcium absorption and new bone growth while also increasing your risk of experiencing fractures.
Being mindful of posture and making dietary changes or other lifestyle adjustments may seem like an inconvenience at first, but such habits will eventually become second nature over time. You’ll appreciate the effort if you experience fewer instances of disruptive back pain.
If you are experiencing discomfort in your spine, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hamid Mir to find out about your options for treatment. Dr. Mir specializes in minimally invasive surgery and other procedures like the lumbar disc replacement Marina del Rey patients have undergone to relieve their pain. Call our office today at 949-860-7498 to learn more.