These At-Home Habits Could Be Causing Your Back Pain

  • The coronavirus pandemic has pushed most Americans to stay at home for months, deviating from their regular activities.
  • Back pain is very common but since the pandemic there’s been a high incidence of complaints of neck and back pain, according to an orthopedic surgeon.
  • Some at-home habits can cause back pains and identifying them could help prevent suffering from back pain again.

The pandemic has forced us to stay at home and …. give us back pains? Brian Cole MD, FAAOS, orthopedic surgeon at Englewood Spine Associates in Englewood, NJ says “we’ve seen a high incidence of complaints of neck and back pain.”

Here are the 7 habits that could be reasons for it:   

1. Slouching on the couch

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Dr. Cole says: “It’s not so much a matter of how long you sit, but how you’re sitting.”

What to do: When sitting, make sure you have solid support on your lower back. You should feel the support behind your low back, Dr. Cole says.

2. Working in bed

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Dr. Cole says: A semi-reclined position can stress the lower back.

What to do: Purchase a reading backrest pillow to maintain the natural curve of the spine by placing it behind your lumbar spine.

3. Sitting too long at your (makeshift) desk

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Dr. Cole says: “Sitting puts 40 percent more pressure on your spine than standing.”

What to do: To put you in a more balanced position, place a pillow or lumbar roll in the gap between your back and the chair. Have a break by doing stretching exercises.

4. Not Enough Sleep

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Dr. Cole says: “Studies suggest that poor sleep quality is associated with acute low back pain.”

Give your body the ability to recover by resting and sleeping well.  Have a check-up to determine the cause of sleeplessness. Sleeping position and mattress matter.

Dr Cole adds that “The mattress should be firm enough to support your weight and at the same time, soft enough to accommodate the curves of your body.”  

5. Starting a garden

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Why? Tammy Penhollow, DO, a pain management specialist in the greater Phoenix, Ariz. Area says, “Lifting loads the spine while the twisting motion creates more strain in the side-to-side planes of motion.” 

What to do: When lifting from the ground, bend at the knees rather than from the waist. Keep items close to the chest and do not twist the upper body. Do core exercises to make it strong like a forearm plank.

6. Using old shoes to exercise

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Dr. Penhollow says: “Worn out old shoes have inadequate arch support that can protect your feet from rolling in or out as you walk. A good shoe with arch support helps maintain alignment of the legs, hips and back and prevents feet from rolling in as you stand and move.”

Simple test: Wet your feet and step on cool concrete to make an outline of your feet. Low arch or flat feet leaves a whole foot impression, including the inside. For high arch feet, only the outside of your foot is seen. A normal arch would have a ball, heel, and outside of the foot impression.

7. Baking all the time

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Dr. Penhollow says: Going barefoot or not wearing shoes with arch support for long periods will cause heel pain. 

What to do: Wear shoes with arch support. Do not go barefoot. Do not hunch over counters. Stand close to the counter. Take a break every now and then.

Source: Real Simple

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