3 Things that Cause Back Pain That You Didn’t Know Until Now!

Quick question:

How many of you have Googled ‘preventing back pain?’

Yes, we thought so.

We’ve all heard and read about what can cause back pain; incorrect lifting, bad posture, sports injury… but did you know that you may be making a common mistake in your daily routine that might be encouraging back pain?

What we’re about to tell you, might sound surprising but hear us out, and we’ll explain why it can cause your back pain to worsen, as well as give you some tips on how to change it.

So, here we go…

#1. Bad Diet

We don’t mean like the latest fad diet or Weight Watchers! Being overweight can have a great impact on your health AND your back pain. If you are over-weight then you are putting extra pressure on your back (This isn’t necessarily the cause of your issue, as skinny, and under-weight people can also suffer from back issues).

An example of this can be shown where we store our excess calories. When we eat, energy that we don’t use from our food, is stored as fat. We tend to accumulate excess fat around the abdomen and back, aka your love handles.

Research has shown that 31% of women and 25% of men who suffered from back pain also have gastrointestinal complaints. The link between nutrition and back pain is largely due to inflammation. A diet that is high in sugar and fat can trigger inflammation throughout the body, including the back.

To overcome this issue, try cutting down on the sugar and processed foods and choose more natural foods. This could be chicken breasts, lean meats, and vegetables. We can also make simple changes by replacing sugary drinks with water.

#2. Lack of Movement

Let’s face it, the more technology that comes into the world, the less we move. Most of us are at jobs where we sit in chairs the majority of the day. In the past, even if we had a desk job, we would still have to get up frequently to speak with someone, make a copy, or fax something, but in today’s modern world, all we have to do is click a button and most things are done right at our desks.

Many of us live a fast paced life that is difficult enough just trying to get our children to school and practices on time, much less carving out an hour a day to get in enough exercise. But, there are small things we can do day to day that can help us to get more movement into our lives.

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator can get us moving a little more during the day. We don’t have a lot of buildings with elevators in Southwest Louisiana, but if you do happen to be in one, why not take the stairs instead.

Park further away in the parking lot when you go to the store to add a few more steps into your day.

Go for a walk around the neighborhood or even if you have a few minutes during you lunch break. The more steps you can get into your day, the better.

Stand up at least every 30 minutes from your desk. It’s hard to take a break when we are working on a project but standing up for a few seconds or even walking a little around the office can really help to decrease your back pain. It can also help you to be more productive if you take a small break to move or stretch.

#3. How Old Did You Say Your Mattress Was?

When you actually think back to when you got your mattress, you’ll be surprised at actually how old it is!

How does an old mattress cause back pain you ask? It’s quite simple really. Although it may have been very supportive in the beginning, over time the springs can wear and can ultimately not end up giving you the support you need.

Think of it like this:

You have a brand new shirt that you really like. You wear it day in day out, to prove how much you really like it. After the first few washes it looks as good as new. However, after a while you notice that the more you wear it, the more the colors fade, the more the stitching comes apart, until ultimately, you need a new shirt.

Your mattress is the same. If you can’t go out and buy a new mattress today (because let’s be honest, not many of us can!), then another way to get great support is by the use of your pillows.

If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs for extra support. This will help your hip joints as well as your lower back.

If you prefer to sleep on your back, get a pillow or two and place them under your knees. This changes the way your spine is positioned when you sleep.

There you have it!

So, to summarize everything, having a healthy diet is more important than just being at a healthy body weight. It is also important to provide your body with the right nutrients and maintain proper hydration by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Your bed, as comfy as it may feel, might actually be causing you harm! Double check the date of when you got your mattress and use pillows to provide extra support until you can replace your mattress if it’s needed.

Include more movement into your daily routine by doing simple things like going for a walk, taking the stairs, or parking a few spaces farther from the store.

Not many people seem to notice these problems in their lifestyle and often ignore them because they don’t see how what they eat and what they sleep on can have a big impact on their back pain.

So please, don’t make the mistake that so many other people make and implement these into your daily routine today!

If you want to know any more tips on how to ease back pain, click the image below to download my free report today:

Ashley Hornsby, MPT

Ashley is a graduate of McNeese State University and went on to earn her master’s degree in Physical Therapy from Texas Woman’s University. She has also completed extensive post-graduate course work focused on improving her orthopedic manual therapy skills and assessment techniques. She is certified in Therapeutic Dry Needling, Functional Movement Taping, Selective Functional Movement Assessment, and a variety other techniques. Ashley has a specialty in the treatment of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders and Headaches.

Ashley and her husband, Matt, have a young daughter that is always keeping them on their toes!

Ashley and Katherine founded Thrive Physical Therapy to fulfil their mission to help everyone they encounter become happier and healthier.
Ashley Hornsby, MPT