Are these daily habits damaging your spine?

Life is busy. The demands we face on a daily basis can be overwhelming. One thing that can interrupt our lives is back pain. The American Chiropractic Association estimates that 31 million Americans are living with back pain at any given time. Everyday habits can lead to severe back and neck pain. Are these daily habits damaging your spine?

Carrying Your Work Load
Problem: Heavy laptop bags and work files can load us down. It’s common to carry your bag on the same shoulder, every day. This habit causes the obliques, the muscles surrounding your core, to work hard to find balance. Continuous pressure on one shoulder, can cause soreness in the short term and possibly cause a curvature in your spine.

Solution: Lighten your load, switch carrying arms, or use a properly fitted backpack.

Sitting on Your Wallet 
Problem: Lower back pain is common in men for one reason, in particular: their wallet! It’s a habit to keep your wallet in a back pocket, and then sit on it.  Good posture is not possible since your body is not correctly aligned. This daily habit can cause your spine to curve over time.

Solution: Use a thin wallet, switch pockets, and take it out when you sit down.

Package Overload
Problem: Are you someone who loves the convenience of delivery? Amazon Prime, grocery delivery options, and more have led to plenty of boxes at your doorstep. Lifting those boxes incorrectly can cause serious back pain.

Solution: Before lifting, remember proper techniques: lift with your legs, not with your back. Be careful not to twist when lifting and make sure feet are properly planted on the ground.

Sleep Habits
Problem: Everyone has a preference on how they like to sleep. Regardless of whether you are a side sleeper, a stomach, or a back sleeper, your sleep habits could be hurting your spine.

Solution: If you’re a side sleeper, sleep with a pillow between your legs to keep your spine aligned and let your core muscles rest. You can also try alternating sides. If you are a stomach sleeper, try sleeping on your back. The unnatural position your neck is placed on can cause neck pain. Back sleepers need to make sure their neck is aligned with the spine.

Not Exercising
Problem: There isn’t always enough time in the day to fit in exercise. Core strength is a vital part of spine health. As well as supporting the spinal column, core muscles help in stabilizing and minimizing compressive forces on the spine, forces which often contribute to back pain.

Solution: Find exercises that fit into your busy schedule. Examples could be plank holds while the coffee is brewing or sit-ups during commercial breaks.

It’s time to get a handle on your spine health and live free of pain! However, always check with your physician to see if these tips are safe to follow based on your health history.

If you have back pain or back problems, make an appointment with one of First State Spine’s specialists.