6 Reasons Your Back Hurts
Mar 5th, 2010
SIX REASONS YOUR BACK HURTS:
If you've been working all week and you're stressed out, the last thing you want to deal with is a bad back. But it's the fifth most common reason for hospital visits, and 56% of people with back pain say it screws with their daily routine. But if YOU screw with your daily routine first, you might be able to avoid back problems altogether. Here are six reasons your back is hurting . . .
#1.) YOU HAVE A LONG COMMUTE. Being slumped down in your seat saps your energy, and it can cause back and neck problems. To fix it, sit at a 90-degree angle, and a little closer to the wheel.
--If you have to extend your legs the entire way to reach the pedals, you're too far away. When they're straight out, it puts more pressure on your back.
#2.) YOU'RE CHAINED TO YOUR DESK. At work, try to sit at a 135-degree angle. It reduces the amount of pressure on the discs in your spine. Basically, that means you should be leaning back a few inches, but not much more than that.
--Most people tend to lean forward in their chair when they type or read something on the computer. So make a point to lean back whenever you take a phone call or when someone comes over to ask a question.
--And walk around the office as much as you can. It'll keep your back stretched out.
#3.) YOU CARRY A BIG PURSE OR A COMPUTER BAG. If it's too heavy, it can throw your spine off. The American Chiropractic Association says your bag should weigh no more than 10% of your body weight when it's full.
#4.) YOU'VE BEEN SKIPPING THE GYM. New research shows that 40% of people who develop back pain become less active because of it. But even a little exercise, like taking a walk, will stretch you out.
--And if you need instant relief, stretching your hamstrings and hips will take some of the strain off your back.
#5.) YOUR MATTRESS IS FROM ANOTHER DECADE. A good mattress lasts nine to ten years. But a study at Oklahoma State University found that most people who buy a new bed after FIVE years sleep much better and have less back pain.
--A new mattress is expensive. So here's a cheaper option. If you sleep on your back, tuck a pillow under your knees. If you sleep on your side, put it BETWEEN your knees. And if you sleep on your stomach, put it under your hips.
#6.) YOU WEAR FLIP-FLOPS OR HIGH-HEELS. Shoes that don't cover the back of your foot change the way you walk, which changes the way you carry your body weight.
--In one study, 80% of people who started wearing lightweight, flexible shoes with simple cushions reported significantly less back pain within a year.