4 Ways Your Daily Routine Can Cause Lower Back Pain

For back pain, we've heard the tips about maintaining a healthy life and maintaining a healthy weight before.  But what if you're a healthy adult that's followed all the "rules" but still have back pain that just won't seem to go away?  What does this mean for you?

First, remember that back pain is, in most cases, not something that you'll have to live with for the rest of your life.  What it means is that you have to figure out what the root cause is for your back pain.  Once you figure out the cause, you'll be able to figure out the solution and be rid of your back pain for good!

In our long experiences in treating back pain with Physical Therapy, we've found that the vast majority of back issues come from everyday daily routines that people don't really pay attention to but can really be a problem for your spine.

Sitting Too Much

If you evaluate your daily activity, I think you'd be surprised as to how much time is actually spent sitting.  Just think about it for a moment.  You sit when you drive, when you work, when you're waiting at a doctor's office, when you eat your meals, and even when you watch TV.  We're just not meant to be hunched over for that much time throughout the day, which ends up having the effect of having our spines hunched forward.  

The solution?  Get Up!  Start here with our key to getting rid of back pain.

Carrying Bags That Are Too Heavy

This is also a big problem that we have been noticing has been getting worse.  We see it in our school children, from grammar school all the way through college, carrying backpacks with bigger and bigger books that end up causing severe back pain earlier and earlier in life.  Even as adults, we've had men and women complain of back pain which, through our own evaluations, began because of briefcases, bags, or purses that were just too heavy.

For a good place to start, try reading Dr. James' blog on finding a safe backpack, with some great tips that can save you from a trip to the Physical Therapy office.

Not Exercising Enough

Life in the 21st century is certainly always on the go.  People are moving at faster paces than ever, always with a place to be.  So it's no surprise that when we ask about daily exercise, our Physical Therapy patients usually respond with, "I just don't have the time to exercise."

What I'd like to stress here is that when we talk about exercise, we don't mean that you have to be in the gym an hour a day with a drenched-in-sweat shirt.  With back pain, moderate movements and exercise, such as a nice walk on a treadmill or outside on a sunny day, can make all the difference.  Stuck in the office?  Try our video on exercises and stretches that you can do right at your desk to keep back pain at bay.

Stress, Stress, And More Stress

Speaking of being on the go, it's no secret that the amount of stress that we seem to be under is ever increasing, with no end in sight.  Numerous studies have connected pain and stress, studying the effects that your own emotional state can have on the pain you are feeling.  In order to counteract this, take account of the stress in your life and try different stress reducing activities, such as gentle yoga, meditation, and light exercise.  You will definitely see a difference in the severity of back pain symptoms over time.

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Dr. Asha Koshy is a Physical Therapist and co-owner of Complete Physical Rehabilitation in Jersey City and Elizabeth, NJ.

She is a McKenzie certified back pain Physical Therapist specialist, an LSVT BIG certified specialist for Parkinson's Disease, and also specializes in treating Vestibular conditions relating to vertigo, dizziness, and other balance disorders.