We’ve all heard and read about what can cause back pain; incorrect lifting, bad posture, sports injury… but did you know that you could be making a few common mistakes in your daily routine, which might actually be encouraging back pain?
So in today’s blog post, I’ll discuss the top three things that could be causing your back back – and you don’t even know it!
#1 Having A Bad Diet
Being overweight can have a great impact on your health AND your back pain. If you’re overweight, then chances are you’re putting extra pressure on your back.
Eating sugary snacks and junk food and even caffeine can add weight to your body in stored fat around your midsection… meaning additional pressure on your back.
To overcome this issue, try cutting down on the sugar, caffeine and processed foods and choose more natural foods. This could be chicken breasts, potatoes, fruit, salads and vegetables.
Just remember, to eat a balanced diet because any energy you don’t use will be stored as fat and the areas in which you store fat include your stomach, biceps, hips and back.
#2 Lack of Exercise
Did you know that even people who stay active by going for long walks, playing sports and going to the gym usually skimp out on their flexibility?
Few people actually put time aside to increase their flexibility which can play a huge role in how well you’re able to fend off back pain.
Flexibility exercises always seem to be overlooked but they really shouldn’t be. Stretches before and after exercise can help with flexibility, however it’s main focus is to get rid of the lactic acid you have built up from exercise.
If you’re someone who is noticing stiffness more frequently after exercise and stretches, then you’ll really benefit from yoga.
Yoga is a great exercise to add into your daily routine. Yoga may include stretches that you may already be familiar with – however yoga is so much more than a few stretches.
Yoga helps you focus on your breathing, making you feel less stressed, can ease tension as the movements relax the muscles and this can increase your flexibility.
Just because Yoga isn’t as intense as a fast-paced game of tennis, doesn’t mean it’s not an intense workout for your muscles!
I recommend for my clients to try yoga on a daily basis because of its amazing benefits – and I recommend you give it a try too!
#3 An Old Mattress
How old is your mattress? If you’ve had it for more than a few years, chances are its contributing to your back pain.
Although your mattress may have been very supportive in the beginning, overtime the springs can wear and ultimately mean you’re not getting the back support you actually need.
Think of it like this:
You have a brand new shirt you really like. You wear it day in day out, to prove how much you really like it. After the first few washes it looks as good as new. However after a while you notice the more you wear it, the more the colours fade, the more the stitching comes apart, until ultimately, you need a new shirt.
Your mattress is the same. If you’re not able to replace your mattress soon, then another way to get great support is by the use of your pillows.
If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs for extra support. This will help your hip joints as well as your lower back.
If you prefer to sleep on your back however, get a pillow or two and pop them under your feet. This changes the way your spine is positioned when you sleep, providing more support for your back.
So to summarise everything, having a healthy diet is more important than just getting the correct nutrients for your body. It also helps ease any pressure to your joints and muscles. Your bed, as comfy as it may feel, might actually be causing you harm! Double check the date of when you got your mattress and use pillows to support your body. Finally, including flexibility exercises such as yoga into your daily routine can make a great difference to your back pain. Just because its slow and calming, doesn’t mean it’s not a good workout for your body!
As you can see, these are easy tweaks to your lifestyle that will help you stay fit and healthy AND care for your back in the process.