Back pain plagues more than 1 in 10 people worldwide. And when we think of back pain, we often think of injury, accident, or overuse. But there are many other, less commonly known, causes of back pain. Knowing these may help you pinpoint the cause of your pain and help you discover a way to fix it.
1. Lack of exercise. Exercise helps you build the muscle tone you need to properly support your back. Being too sedentary can also lead to weight gain which puts added strain on your back. Try to incorporate cardiovascular and strength training exercises into your routine a few days a week, focusing on your abs and back muscles for a strong, supportive core.
2. Your phone. When on your cell phone, be mindful to hold it up and keep it at eye level. Bending your neck down to look down at your phone can cause neck and upper back pain, headaches, and can lead to a reverse curve of the neck.
3. Your office chair. Staying in any one position for too long can lead to back pain. So it’s no real surprise that sitting at your desk for long periods of time can wreak havoc on your spine. If your office chair is not supportive, is uncomfortable, or you don’t get up and move every 45 minutes to an hour, it may only be a matter of time before your back starts to feel the effects.
4. Worn out shoes. If you spend a lot of time in one pair of shoes, make sure they’re supportive and the soles aren’t worn out. Proper arch support is crucial and without it your gait is impacted, which can lead to back pain.
5. Mattress. As we mentioned about the office chair, spending too much time in one position can lead to back pain. Now think about how much time you spend on your mattress. If your mattress is old, you sink into it when you lie down, or it’s just not supporting you in a way that’s comfortable (and this is different for everyone), it may be time to replace it. While comfort levels vary by person, lean toward the firmer, more supportive side if you’re dealing with back pain.