Got Back Pain? 4 Lifestyle Choices That Might Be Making Your Pain Worse

Health & Medical Blog

Back pain is the leading cause of disability. Shockingly, nearly 80 percent of people experience back pain at some point in their lives. If you're experiencing back pain caused by an injury or medical condition, you're probably already seeing a physician to address your pain. However, did you know that your lifestyle may be making your pain worse or that it may make it impossible for you to completely get rid of your symptoms? It's true. If you want to get rid of back pain you have to change your habits. Following are four lifestyle choices that might be making your pain worse. 

Exercise Avoidance

Regular exercise strengthens the muscles in your back and abdomen that are responsible for supporting your spine, leaving it vulnerable to pain. Failure to exercise also decreases your flexibility, which can leave you with stiff and sore muscles. If you avoid exercising, you will only make your back pain worse. What's more, you may negatively affect your posture, which can also lead to further pain. To keep your back healthy, take part in regular cardiovascular and strength training exercises. 

Uncontrolled Weight

The heavier you are, the more likely you are to experience back pain because excess weight puts your center of gravity off balance, which can strain your back muscles. If you have back pain, losing a modest amount of weight can help. Ideally, you should strive to be as close as possible to the ideal weight for your age, gender, and height. Conversely, gaining even a few pounds can exacerbate your back issue, leading to more pain. 

Smoking Habit

Smoking causes a whole host of medical issues, but what does it have to do with your back? The chemicals contained in cigarettes can restrict blood flow to your vertebrae, which can result in faster degeneration of both the bones and the disks that support them. Smoking also reduces your body's ability to absorb calcium, which can make bones brittle. 

Sedentary Lifestyle

If you work at a desk and spend most of your time in a sitting or prostrate position, you will experience more back pain than if you were mobile and active. Prolonged rest and activity avoidance can also make your condition worse. For this reason, you shouldn't rest your back if it hurts unless the doctor tells you to do so. In many cases, movement is your best option. 

Back pain affects millions of Americans. Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes that you can make to alleviate your symptoms and prevent them from becoming worse. 


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