Five Poor Lifestyle Habits That Cause Lower Back Pain

It goes without saying that back pain can be excruciatingly painful, however, you might be surprised to find that your lifestyle habits can be a contributing factor to this pain. It is reported that around eight out of ten people will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life so don’t worry, you are not alone! As well as using reputable clinics like the Essex Physiotherapy Clinic, you can make simple changes to your lifestyle which can reduce the risk of back pain.

We’re going to quickly run through five different reasons as to why you may be experiencing severe lower back pain. You’ll be kicking yourself that you haven’t made these adjustments to your lifestyle before!

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

It has been found that back pain can be caused by the sort of chair you use at home or work. For instance, slouching or sitting slumped actually places a small forward bend on the spine. As time goes on, this forward bend starts to place a load onto the lower spinal discs and cause a herniation. For those who work in office jobs, most of the time is spent sitting down. Therefore it is imperative that you have a chair that helps support your back to prevent any long term injuries.

It might be surprising to know that chairs aren’t the only furniture that can be detrimental to your back, but your mattress too. In fact, sleeping on the wrong mattress can actually cause back pain. Sleeping on the wrong mattress causes the spine to lose its alignment and strain the muscles. On the other hand, supportive mattresses can prevent back soreness by helping you to maintain a neutral position.

So how can you tell if your mattress is wrong? Well, a good indication would be whether your mornings start with any pain. Older mattresses that are too soft can put unwanted strain on your spine. Also, sleeping on an old mattress that has many lumps can cause chronic back pain – so be vigilant for any visible sagging in the middle of the mattress. If you notice this is the case, then it might be time to invest in a new mattress!

How’s your Form?

Whether it be lifting heavy items at work or in the gym, correctly lifting and carrying heavy objects play a huge role in the condition of your back. Lifting with bad form will put immense stress on your muscles. As a result, muscle strains and tears can happen which then opens the door to more injuries. In order to achieve good form when lifting; balance the weight evenly on your feet, bring yourself closer to the object, bend your knees, tighten your stomach muscles and then use your leg muscles to support your body as you stand up.

If you work in an environment where heavy lifting is the main part of your profession, it might be sensible to implement some changes to how you approach work. As well as correcting your form, you could discuss changes with your employer to make the job easier. This might include spreading awareness of how to avoid back pain at work, wearing a brace or even providing further equipment to assist you in your duties. At home, you could try to do a few stretches before bed and after you wake up to improve your spine flexibility.

At Essex Physiotherapy, not only can we help provide lower back pain relief but we can also provide personal training to help you get back into sport. So for you gym-goers and sports enthusiasts, take a look at our lower back pain therapies.

Living a Sedentary Lifestyle

Whilst we sometimes advise patients to avoid exercise to allow the back to rest, sometimes a lack of exercise can also cause back pain. So what is a sedentary lifestyle exactly? Essentially, it refers to a lifestyle that contains very little exercise. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, this may mean that the anatomy of the back loses its health, flexibility and strength. As a result, this increases the chance of injury to the back. Partaking in gentle forms of exercise such as yoga, swimming or walking can help to reduce back pain. In particular, yoga exercises can be used as an effective tool to stretch your back, improve the health of muscles and joints and increase the flexibility of the spine.

If you are experiencing back pain, it is important to first consult reputable physiotherapists such as Essex Physiotherapy Clinic. Working with our team of qualified and trained experts, we will be able to suggest the best exercises to improve the condition of your lower back. We can offer a whole host of different ways to help nullify your back pain. From manual therapy to massages, we’ve got you covered.

Weight Contributing to Overall Muscle Strain and Knee Pain

Whilst it may be difficult to accept, the back pain you are experiencing may be a result of your weight. If you are not in a healthy weight range for your height, age and body type then this can be detrimental to your lower back and other areas such as the ankle or knee. Being overweight can add unnecessary stress and strain to your body’s joints. Usually, back pain occurs because the discs and spinal structures are damaged from having to deal with the added extra weight.

It therefore might be worth considering losing a bit of weight to put less pressure on your back. Eating a balanced diet, limiting treats and exercising on a consistent basis are perhaps the three best ways to lose weight. Similarly to the advice given to those who live a sedentary lifestyle, even participating in gentle forms of exercise can go a long way to reducing the pain in your back.

Good Posture

Posture police alert! Posture might be the most obvious answer to help with back pain, but it’s the most obvious for a reason. Improving your posture is known to alleviate muscle strain or tension, that’s why implementing it into your daily routine is a must. There are several techniques to help correct your posture. To help improve your posture when standing up, keep your body in perfect alignment, ensuring that your shoulders are parallel with the hips and the neck is straight. To help improve posture when sitting down, you can do bridge, back extensions or plank exercises.

If you work in an office, a contributing factor to your posture is how you are sitting in the office chair. At the Essex Physiotherapy Clinic, we are able to provide ergonomic advice to ensure that your posture is as good as it can be. Not only does this ergonomic advice apply to office workers, but for those who experience difficulty in the car too. No matter what the situation or environment is, we can help. If you wish to see more of the services we offer for severe lower back pain, why not contact us?  

Knee Pain + Muscle Strain

As well as back pain being a common issue, knee pain and muscle strain can be just as disruptive to your day if not rectified. If you have experienced a mild injury from an accident or fall, this can cause your knees to become stiff and rigid. The problems with knee pain can become more advanced as time goes on, so it is important to get this rectified as soon as possible. A potential lifestyle change that you could incorporate to reduce the risk of knee pain is to look for activities that are less stressful on the ankles. This could include swimming and rowing as opposed to running.

Essex Physiotherapy Clinic – Experts in Physiotherapy

Whilst these tips may help to somewhat negate the pain you are experiencing in the lower back or the knee, it is important to seek medical advice from experts. Boasting over thirty years of experience, Essex Physiotherapy Clinic knows exactly how to help with back pain, knee pain or any type of muscle strain. At Essex Physiotherapy Clinic, we pride ourselves on helping patients recover back to full fitness. Using our extensive knowledge and experience, we know exactly what it takes to ensure every customer is left satisfied. From massages and rehab exercises to stress management, we’re certain we’ll find the best solution for you. If you are convinced that Essex Physiotherapy Clinic are the right people to help you through your recovery and you would like to hear more about our extensive services, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 01245 325 037 today!

Don’t shoulder the burden alone.

Contact our team of experienced physiotherapists today.