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You may not realize that things you do every single day can contribute to the health of your back. If you are having back pain, start by considering your daily habits and whether any of them could be making your back ache. Here are some unhealthy practices that may adding to your back pain.

Poor posture
It’s no old wives’ tale that good posture makes a difference to your back. Bad posture is a significant cause for back pain because it can affect your body’s biomechanics. This places undue pressure on your lower back especially. Poor posture doesn’t just mean slouching or hunching your back; it can also mean standing too straight or looking down at electronics for too long. It’s even possible to alter the curve of your spine over time if you habitually practice bad posture. To maintain correct posture, stand with your knees slightly bent with your weight evenly distributed on the balls of your feet. Sit with your feet on the floor or a small stool. Sleep with a pillow under your knees if you lay on your back, or between your legs if you lay on your side. Dr. Charla Fischer in New York City can offer more great tips for correct posture.

Sitting too long
Sitting for long time periods can increase stress and tension in your back. The tendons in your spine can become strained and the muscles may decrease in flexibility with extended sitting. The discs along your spine are under pressure when you’re sitting, so it’s important to move around at regular intervals to avoid disc damage. Movement also increases the blood circulation in your back and distributes important nutrients to your body that a healthy back requires.

Improper lifting
Lifting heavy objects places stress on your back, so it’s vital to practice proper lifting techniques to avoid injury. You could tear your muscles, damage tissues, or even cause fractures. Instead of bending your back to lift objects, use your legs to bend and support your weight and the weight of the object. If you lift weights as part of your workout routine, make sure you learn the correct techniques.

Wrong shoes
Choose shoes that offer adequate support to maintain a comfortable position for your back. Shoes with a low heel, under one inch, are much better for good posture than high heels that place extra pressure on your feet and spine.

Being overweight
Your body’s center of gravity is different when you carry excess weight, often causing your body to shift forward and strain your back. The resulting abnormal posture caused by added weight may lead to pain or spinal injury. Ask a physician such as Dr. Fischer for your ideal weight and suggestions on how to reach that goal if needed.

Lack of sleep
Sleep gives your entire body time to rest and restore, including your back and its elements. Your discs benefit from laying down and sleeping by reabsorbing fluid that is impacted while you are up and moving throughout the day. Also, it’s a proven fact that people who are sleep-deprived and have related stress tend to experience back pain more than those who are well-rested. Make a goal for adequate sleep so that your body has time to repair and release tension.

In addition to the risks to your body from smoking such as heart and lung health, this habit can damage your back as well. It slows down your blood’s circulation and limits the nutrient flow to muscles and joints. Chronic pain can often be linked to smoking, so quitting the habit benefits many aspects of your overall health.

Contact Dr. Fischer to schedule an appointment