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Back pain plagues more than 1 in 10 people worldwide. And when we think of back pain, we often think of injury, accident, or overuse. But there are many other, less commonly known, causes of back pain. Knowing these may help you pinpoint the causes of your pain and help you discover ways to fix it.

1. Lack of movement. Exercise helps you build and maintain the muscle tone you need for proper movement and posture.  Even more importantly, movement is absolutely essential for getting nutrition into the joints, eliminating waste, and literally lubricating joints from the inside out. Being too sedentary can also lead to weight gain, muscle atrophy and joint degeneration.  Try to incorporate cardiovascular, strengthening activities and especially deep release and stretching into your routine a few days a week.  Focus on releasing excessive tension and contraction through the core.  This will help eliminate abnormal postures and movement patterns that contribute to back pain and dysfunction.

2. Your phone and computer. Using your shoulder to hold your phone against your ear will cause strain on your neck, which will affect your back. Headphones are a great solution that allow you to keep better posture when on calls. Be mindful of texting and browsing using your phone too, as bending your neck to look down will cause similar pain and problems.  Laptops and even poorly set up desktops take a toll to our posture and our activity levels.  People generally don’t appreciate how much we compromise our bodies when we use many of our daily tech devices.

3. Your office chair. Staying in any one position for too long can lead to back pain. So it’s no real surprise that sitting at your desk for long periods of time can wreak havoc on your spine. If your office chair is not supportive or properly set up, is uncomfortable, or you don’t get up and move every 30-40 minutes, it may only be a matter of time before your back or neck start to feel the effects.  Even if we do get up frequently, there is an effect from the total time spent in that office chair!  6-8 hours a day sitting is still detrimental, even if it doesn’t all happen at once.

4. Worn out shoes. If you spend a lot of time in one pair of shoes, make sure they’re supportive and the soles aren’t worn out.  A properly fitted pair of shoes is crucial and without it your stance and gait are impacted, which will lead to dysfunction and possibly pain.  Talk to us about how to match a shoe to your needs.

5. Mattress. As we mentioned earlier, spending too much time in one position can lead to back pain. Now think about how much time you spend on your mattress. If your mattress is old, you sink into it in all the wrong places, or it’s just not supporting you in a way that’s comfortable, it may be time to replace it. While comfort levels vary by person, there are some basic principles in what you want from your mattress in the way of support.

6. Over-the-shoulder bags. Carrying around a large handbag or heavy backpack on one shoulder can affect the curve of your spine and put strain on your neck. If you’re suffering from back and/or neck pain, take a look at what you carry around on a daily basis. A backpack carried properly on both shoulders may be a better option. At the very least, try to clean out and downsize any bags you carry so they aren’t too heavy.

7. Smoking. We all know smoking is bad for your lungs, heart and brain. But did you also know that smoking deprives your body of oxygen, which can lead to weak muscles and damaged joints? Both of these can lead to back pain. If you were looking for another reason to quit smoking, this may be it.

Chiropractic Checkup for Back Pain

If you’re dealing with back pain, it may be time to come in for a visit. We can help you determine the contributing factors to your pain and help you rebuild a healthier, happier body. Let us help you get “back” to your old self, or better yet, move forward to an improved one!

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