If you suffer from excruciating back pain, you aren't alone. Research has shown that back pain is one of the most common reasons that people miss work in America, and that half the country reports symptoms at least once a year. However, before you blame those hefty boxes at work for your problems, you should consider the fact that other factors might be to blame for your injuries. Here are two bad habits that make your chiropractor cringe and what you can do to prevent problems:
1: Staring Downwards At Your Phone
You try not to be rude, which is why you probably keep your cell phone pretty close to the vest. Instead of lifting your phone to eye level whenever you text, game, or check the news, you might use your phone in your lap—which causes you to bow your head for long periods of time. Unfortunately, this strange angle can put loads of extra pressure on your upper spine, which can create back pain.
In fact, while keeping your head upright only puts about 10-12 pounds of pressure on your spine, looking downwards at your phone can put as much as 60 pounds of force on your upper back due to gravitational pull. Unfortunately, since the average person spends between 2 and 4 hours on their phone every day, this bad posture can spell trouble for your back. If you are guilty of this all-too-common phenomenon, try these tips to prevent pain:
- Don't Worry About Looking Silly: To prevent bad cell phone posture, try lifting that phone to eye-level. Use your arms to move your phone closer to your face, instead of bowing your head to see that small screen. The silliness of this pos might also encourage you to limit your phone time and focus on the people around you.
- Use Your Computer Instead: Instead of using your phone to check your email and read the news, use your computer instead. Some operating systems even interface with your phone's operating system, so that you can read and respond to texts by typing on your keyboard.
- Consider Calling: Instead of texting or emailing friends or coworkers, consider giving them a call. Because your phone will be lifted and pressed against your ear, you won't have to worry about your posture destroying your upper back.
Switching up your cell phone usage posture might be a hassle at first, but after a few days it can become second nature.
That extra piece of cake might seem harmless—especially if you aren't worried about fitting into a smaller pair of pants anytime soon. Unfortunately, your poor eating habit might be putting extra pressure on your spine and contributing to your back problems.
When you have extra weight, especially around your middle, it can pull your pelvis forward and strain your lower back. For this reason, a staggering one-third of obese Americans report episodes of back pain. Fortunately, you might be able to lighten the load on your lower back by losing a little weight. Here are a few tips that might help you to get started:
- Meet With Your Doctor: If you want to jump-start your diet and exercise plan, take the time to meet with your doctor to discuss your back pain and your weight. Your doctor might prescribe helpful medications, such as Phentermine, which acts as a slow-release appetite suppressant.
- Focus On Back-Friendly Exercises: If you want to lose weight, don't start lifting heavy weights right away. If you get injured, it might curb your weight loss efforts early by making it harder to exercise. Instead, focus on back-friendly exercises such as walking, swimming, or yoga.
By paying attention to your weight and your posture, you might be able to prevent debilitating back pain and make your chiropractor proud.
For more help relieving your back pain, seek out services like massage therapy by Cabana Court Chiropractic.