8 Everyday Activities That Harm Your Back
There’s more to back pain than back injury or spinal problems. In fact, the day-to-day activities can put you at a risk of back problems and lead to severe back injury or pain. Whether you work in a software company, lift heavy objects or carry a heavy bag on one shoulder, you might have experienced a slight pain in the back. Here are some of the common everyday activities that ate killing your back with tips fromDr Garima Anandani, Chief Spine Specialist, to prevent the same.
1. Lifting heavy objects: Not just carrying heavy loads with one hand, even lifting, pulling or dragging heavy objects incorrectly can cause back trouble. Also, bending incorrectly to lift objects can strain the back muscles, leading to back pain.
Tip: While lifting objects, make sure you squat first and then pick up the thing. Bending at the waist to pick up things, which most of us do, is not the right way.
2. Driving on uneven roads: Yes, even driving on bumpy roads can put pressure on your back, especially if you sit in a single position for hours at a stretch or if you drive for long periods.
Tip: If you are planning a long distance travel, make sure you take frequent breaks to ease the pressure on your back and pelvic region. Moreover, adjust your seat properly before driving to minimise the strain on the back.
3. Prolonged sitting: If your job involves sitting for long hours, then over a period there are high chances that you might end up having back pain. Moreover, the chances of people having a desk job ending with back pain is higher as sitting for 6 – 8 hours puts undue stress on the spine, causing various biochemical changes in the back. The effect is far more severe if you sit at one place and in a single position for hours at a stretch.
Tip: To avoid back pain, makes sure you get up from your chair every hour or take frequent breaks. You can even do some simple stretching exercises at your desk or the washroom to counteract the side-effects of sitting for too long, which ranges from back pain to weight gain.
4. Improper stretching: Yoga is the new fad to stay fit and healthy. But what many people are unaware is the fact that doing it wrong can put your back at risk of various back problems and also muscle injury.
Tip: As yoga involves a lot of stretching and twisting, not following the rule properly can cause back pain. To make the most out of it, do stretching exercises of yoga asanas under the guidance of an expert or take help from a qualified person to get the basics right.
5. Poor posture: Be it while watching TV, playing games on the computer, texting continuously on a mobile phone or completing your project on your laptop, most of us either bend, stoop or crouch, which ultimately exerts pressure on the back and the spine, causing a back pain.
Tip: Bear one thing in mind that a bad posture is one of the major causes of back pain, and hence, it is important to correct your posture to prevent severe back pain and spinal problems. Here are ways your posture is killing you (and how to correct it)
6. Heavy bags: How do you carry your bag? Well, the way you carry your bag can reveal a lot about your health and your risk of suffering from back pain. Most of us carry over-stuffed or heavy bags on a single shoulder. By doing so, the pressure on that shoulder, arm and back is more, which further damages the back. It also leads to an imbalance in the body and elevates a single shoulder, putting pressure on the spine. Here’s more on everyday items that are killing your back.
Tip: Always carry a heavy bag over both the shoulders, like a backpack. If you carry a sling bag, make sure to carry it over the shoulder as it lowers the chances of the bag slipping and also minimises the risk of straining the back and twisting the shoulder.
7. Sitting on your bed/couch: If you think that sitting with your legs elongated on a bed or sofa is the best way to relax after a long day at work, then you are wrong. Because sitting with legs extended causes an unhealthy C-shaped curvature in the lower part of the spine. It also puts pressure on the hamstrings, causing a lot of pressure on the back as well.
Tip:While sitting on a chair is preferred, if you are sitting on a bed or sofa, sit with your legs crossed and keep a cushion under your buttocks to maintain the healthy S-shaped of the spine. If you are pregnant, then here are ways to deal with back-ache during pregnancy.
8. Sleeping on very soft mattresses: Yes, sleeping on a mattress which is too soft fails to provide comfort to the back. In fact, it causes a slight shift in the shape of the spine, thereby stressing the muscles, ligaments and joints.
Tip: This doesn’t mean that you opt for very firm or hard mattresses as it also strains the spine and leads to severe back pain. In fact, choose the one that is not too firm nor too soft.