5 everyday activities that could make your back pain worse

October 13, 2015

If you suffer from back pain, you know how frustrating it can be. It could emerge as the result of an injury or an existing condition, but it could also be caused by sneaky triggers in your daily life. Here are five everyday activities that might be hurting your back.

5 everyday activities that could make your back pain worse

Sitting at your desk

  • If you have a desk job or spend a lot of time at a computer, your desk chair could be causing you pain. Make sure that your chair is at the right height in relation to your desk.
  • A good rule of thumb is to make sure you can look directly forward to see your screen and that your elbows are at a 90-degree angle to your torso, not above or below that.
  • You shouldn't have to crane your neck up or down to look at your computer screen, so try to elevate or lower your workstation if you are uncomfortable.

2. Toting kids around

  • If you have children, you might notice that bending down to pick them up and carrying them around is hurting your back.
  • Those extra pounds can be hard on your back muscles, which tighten up to support the extra weight.
  • The best thing to do is to carry kids on one hip and periodically switch sides to avoid strain. You can also use baby carriers to help you support the weight more evenly.
  • These can strap around your shoulders to allow you to carry the baby either on your chest or on your back.

3. Talking on the phone

  • Talking on your cell phone requires you to either prop the phone between your head and your neck or else hold it up to your ear, both of which can force your spine to curve unnaturally and stiffen your muscles.
  • Invest in a headset that leaves your hands and shoulders free to relax.

4. Walking

  • If you don't have good walking shoes on, simply walking for a few minutes can cause your back to hurt.
  • If you notice that you get any sharp pains in your back when you're out strolling, it could be due to your shoes or foot problems such as fallen arches.
  • Your doctor can help you decide if you would benefit from wearing shoe inserts to give your feet better support.

5. Carrying a bag

  • Holding a bag or a purse, even if it's very lightweight, can cause unnecessary strain on your back and neck.
  • If you suspect that your bag might be weighing you down, invest in a backpack or a bag with different types of straps, such as padded backpack straps, that don't tug on your neck and shoulders as much.
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