9 Everyday Habits That Destroy Your Spine
Back problems became more common in the 21st century and are usually caused by a sedentary lifestyle and from holding/looking at new gadgets. There may be a lot of reasons for bad posture and chronic pain, but scientists are revealing ones that we bring upon on ourselves.
For example, did you know that your job could be the leading cause of a chronic backache? A lack of rest is also bad for your posture.
Bright Side wants to tell you about the most popular habits that according to scientists, lead to a chronic backache.
Smoking is a dangerous habit in itself. However, aside from all its other dangers, smoking can cause backaches because nicotine disrupts the normal blood flow around the spinal cord.
A disruption of circadian rhythms
Researchers found that the condition of the cells in intervertebral disks directly depend on how stable your day and night cycle is.
Scientists suppose that when our circadian rhythms are disrupted (due to age, chronic insomnia, and night shifts), these cells start to function badly which leads to chronic inflammation and makes us more susceptible to the development of pain in the lower back and the degeneration of intervertebral disks.
Other studies showed that some natural anti-inflammatory chemical substances in our bodies are better produced during the day.
So, in order to slow down the aging of the spinal cord, you should stick to a schedule that doesn’t make you a zombie in the middle of the day.
Working while standing
We’ve all heard that sitting too much is harmful. But the necessity to stand all the time can be just as harmful to your health. Just the way you stand can have a huge impact on the condition of your neck, spine, and shoulders. The wrong posture can have terrible consequences when it comes to your spinal cord, causing chronic pain and serious curvatures.
Our muscles and joints need flexibility in order to stay healthy, and bad posture is one of the first signs that you are doing something wrong. Most of the time, if your head or shoulders are in the wrong position, it means that you aren’t controlling the upper part of your body well enough. This leads to curvatures and makes your body have to compensate for the bad posture during movement. This leads to even bigger stress on the body.
In order to avoid having bad posture, we need to stand, sit and lie in ways that have the least strain on our muscles and ligaments, and that hold the spinal cord — especially while moving and doing sports.
Wearing the wrong shoes
Backaches can be caused by wearing uncomfortable shoes. Reduce the strain on your legs by choosing a more high-quality shoe. If you prefer sneakers or like to wear boots when the weather is cold, put on socks to reduce friction and discomfort.
Not getting enough rest
Many of us don’t pay enough attention to the very first alarming signs like a hardly noticeable backache. However, it’s very important to take a rest every time you feel slight discomfort in your back.
Of course, you can’t always let yourself rest at such moments. But don’t forget to rest as soon as you have the time, even if the discomfort is already gone by then.
In order to reduce extra strain on your muscles, lie down and put your feet up.
A job you hate
Scientists from Australia have proven that backaches are widely spread among people who feel unhappy at their job. The researchers didn’t find any physiological problems — the pain is purely psychological.
Too much mental work
Sometimes, your brain working too hard for a long time can lead to backaches.
Try to think about something other than work and your problems. Give yourself some time to rest: you can play some sports or watch a movie to forget about problems that cause you stress. The ability to think about something else can lessen your chances of getting a backache.
Our mobile phones
A recent study showed that reading a simple text message can add up to 45 lb of pressure on the spinal cord. Just think about it: 45 lb just because you’re texting!
Using mobile phones every day leads to a loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine and a heavier load on this part of the back, especially in teenagers.
Scientists calculated that people use mobile phones 2-4 hours a day on average which means that our necks are bent for 700 to 1,400 hours a year.
This means that pretty soon, surgeons will have many more patients — especially teenagers — because the constant incorrect posture can lead to serious and chronic spinal curvature. So, at some point, you will realize that you can’t stand straight — and this is all because of your cell phone!
Of course, we can’t stop using the technology that makes our lives so much easier. But we can at least be mindful of how we position our bodies. The least you can do is control your posture when using the phone. Your back will thank you.
We avoid movement to not experience back pain
Don’t avoid doing sports, especially the kind that requires the flexibility of the spine (such as yoga). It’s important to keep moving. Muscles relax when they move and stretch slowly. Gradually increase the number of exercises and their complexity, and continue to move a lot.
Do you often have back pain? How do you handle it? Tell us in the comment section below!