According to the American Chiropractic Association , 31 million people in the US experience lower back pain at any given time. It is considered the leading cause of disability worldwide. Many people who experience back pain are not quite sure where it comes from. It turns out that many activities in your daily routine are activities that damage or can put back problems, pain and injuries at risk.

7 activities that damage your back and how to prevent them

The following are 7 activities that you can be doing daily and are putting (or already damaged) the integrity of your back. If you don’t know where your back pain is coming from, check the following list because one of these things may be the cause. If you often experience back pain, a simple lifestyle change can help alleviate the problem.

1. Lifting heavy objects

Lifting heavy objects, even if only for a moment, is obviously one of the activities that damages the back the most, especially if the objects are not lifted correctly. Bending your back incorrectly can strain your back muscles and cause back pain.

Try this: When lifting heavy objects, squat down and then pick up the object. Bending at the waist can cause injury.

2. Prolonged sitting

If your job requires you to sit for long periods of time, it can be difficult to exercise. But sitting for a long time on a daily basis can cause back pain and increase your chances of injury.

Try this: Do simple stretching exercises at your desk and get up from your chair every now and then to walk around the office and stretch your legs.

3. Inappropriate stretching

Doing yoga or other forms of stretching can lead to back pain when done incorrectly. Improper stretching also puts your muscles at risk for injury.

Try this: The first time you try yoga, make sure a trained instructor teaches you how to perform the proper positions.

4. Bad posture

Whether it’s sitting at your desk, watching TV, or texting on your cell phone, make sure you are implementing good posture. Slouching puts pressure on the back of your spine, which can easily cause back pain.

Try this: Sit up straight to prevent your spine from bending. Check your posture regularly to avoid long periods of slouching.

5. Carry heavy suitcases

Constantly carrying a heavy briefcase, purse or backpack is bound to cause back problems. It puts pressure on the shoulders, arms, and back and can lead to imbalance in the body.

Try this: If your bag is heavy, always carry it on both of your shoulders like a backpack. If your bag has a strap, carry it over your shoulder with proper posture to lower chances of straining your back.

6. Sleep on very soft mattresses

While a soft mattress may sound nice and comfortable, a mattress that is too soft is not capable of providing adequate back support. It can cause a slight change in the shape of the spine, which stresses the muscles, ligaments, and joints.

Try this: Choose a mattress that is neither too firm nor too soft.

7. Driving on uneven roads

Oddly enough, driving on uneven roads can put pressure on your back, especially if you’re driving for long periods of time. Those movements like this can end up taking a toll on your spine.

Try this: Take frequent breaks when traveling long distances to relieve pressure on your back. Make sure you adjust your seat correctly before driving.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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