Most people will suffer from at least a minor degree of back pain at some point in their lives. But when that pain becomes chronic, to the point that it affects your ability to move, you’ve got a serious problem that requires prompt, professional attention.
At Bomberg Chiropractic, we deeply understand chronic back pain and it’s many potential causes. While some of those causes are largely out of your control, others are related to suboptimal lifestyle habits that, while they may take some work, are easy to change.
Below, we explain how four highly common lifestyle factors can contribute to back pain and what you can do to help alleviate your discomfort.
Most professions these days require hours of sitting at a desk each day. Although sitting might be required at your job, that doesn’t mean you have to continue the habit at home. Unfortunately though, most of us sit far too much — an average of 10 hours per day — and it’s taking a toll on not just our backs, but our entire bodies.
Sound familiar? If you’re prone to excessive sitting, your sedentary nature may be a culprit behind your chronic back pain. The human body is designed to move, and sitting puts it in an unnatural position, which can compromise the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your back, hips, and legs.
Because excessive sitting also weakens your core muscles, your back no longer has the support it requires to maintain good posture and function properly. Resulting problems include persistent back pain, poor posture, compromised mobility, and reduced range of motion.
Combating the problem is simple, but it does take a conscious effort. Here are a few helpful tips that can help alleviate chronic, sitting-related back pain:
● Work at a standing desk if possible.
● Use an ergonomic chair or seating that requires you to engage your core.
● Take the stairs and park farther away from buildings.
● Try to limit your time spent sitting at home.
● Get up and move around periodically throughout your workday.
● Go for a brief walk on your lunch break.
● Schedule routine adjustments and care with your chiropractor.
Spending Too Much Time Looking at Your Phone
Most people spend far too much time sitting, and unfortunately, they also spend too much time looking downward at electronic devices, namely cell phones. If you struggle with persistent upper back or neck pain, ask yourself: How much time am I spending on my phone? If the answer is several hours per day, it’s time to make a change.
Constantly looking downward at your phone negatively affects your posture by promoting upper spine flexion and placing more pressure on the muscles throughout your upper back. As a result, your shoulders begin to round and your neck may even begin to lose some of its natural forward curvature.
Because these gradual musculoskeletal changes are far from natural, they often result in persistent discomfort. And unfortunately, your pain won’t get better until you change your habits. Some helpful tips for reducing neck and back pain related to mobile device use include:
● Hold your mobile device at eye level during use.
● Take breaks from looking at your phone.
● Periodically check and adjust your posture during long periods of phone use.
● Schedule routine chiropractic care and ask your chiropractor for stretching recommendations for your neck and upper back.
Gaining Considerable Weight
If you gain five or 10 pounds, you probably won’t notice much of a difference in regard to back pain. However, when you add a considerable amount of weight to your frame, nagging aches and pains can ensue.
Gaining a lot of weight, especially around your midsection, puts unnecessary stress on your spine, as well as the muscles in your middle and lower back. Excess weight also stresses the joints and ligaments in your legs, which can cause your pelvis to shift out of its natural alignment. Combined, these issues can limit your overall mobility and negatively affect your posture. The result? Nagging aches and back pain or, worse, a higher risk of serious low back injuries.
To combat back pain associated with considerable weight gain, your best course of action is to practice healthier eating habits and incorporate more movement into your day. Scheduling chiropractic wellness care with a qualified practitioner can also help alleviate acute aches and pains while you work toward reducing excessive weight-related stress on your frame.
Masking the Pain With Over-the-Counter Medications
Whether you routinely wake up with back pain or your discomfort gradually builds throughout the day, ignoring or masking the pain is never the appropriate way to handle it. Though using over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications can help dampen your discomfort, these solutions are temporary at best.
If you truly want to alleviate your back pain (who doesn’t?) and move without discomfort, the only way to achieve that is to address the source of the problem. Scheduling an evaluation with a chiropractor can help you identify the underlying cause(s) of your pain. And, depending on the results of your evaluation, an individually tailored program of chiropractic care can help alleviate your discomfort.
Ongoing care, also referred to as chiropractic wellness care, can also be highly beneficial for people who suffer from chronic back pain. Because routine treatments can help you maintain better posture and overall mobility, attending regular chiropractic visits is almost always recommended.
Struggling With Back Pain? Schedule an Appointment at Bomberg Chiropractic
Whether you’re struggling with chronic back pain or you’ve suffered an acute back injury, at Bomberg Chiropractic, we’d love to welcome you into our care. We specialize in a wide variety of chiropractic treatments, including manual adjustments, movement-based massage, TENS therapy, wellness care, Graston Technique, and more. It’s our goal to help Twin Cities residents move pain free while helping them optimize their mobility, posture, and overall health. If you’re living in pain, let us help you get out of it!
To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, call our New Hope, MN office today at 763-450-1755 or send us a message with your questions, and we’ll be in touch.