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7 bad habits guaranteed to cause back pain

Dr. Lala .A.

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Chronic pain is pain that lasts a long time. Back pain will affect about 80 percent of people at some point in their lives.

Some habits that cause back pain include;

1. Poor posture: Can add strain to muscles and put stress on the spine. The stress of poor posture can actually change the structure of the spine. To avoid back injuries, try to stand with your knees slightly bent, and place one foot forward to take pressure off the lower back and reduce back strain. When sitting, sit with your hips slightly higher than your knees.

2. Lack of exercise: Not exercising may lead to poor posture and increase low back pain. Abdominal strengthening exercises, cardiovascular exercises like swimming, walking, and bicycling along with movements that improve flexibility can improve posture and reduce back pain.

3. Lifting of heavy objects: Causes back pain especially when it is done wrongly. It is important to bend your knees and keep weight close to your body while lifting the object straight. Keep your head down and back straight. Avoid unnecessary twisting or turning while lifting heavy objects.

4. Smoking: Nicotine restricts blood flow to the discs that cushion your vertebrae and increases the rate of degeneration. This loss of cushioning can cause back pain. Cigarette smoking also reduces calcium absorption and prevents new bone growth, leaving smokers with an increased risk for osteoporosis (brittle, fragile bones) and slower healing after bone fractures, which can cause back pain.

5. Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D: These nutrients are essential for bone strength that is needed to build the back bones.

6. Lack of movement or activity: Reducing movement as a means of pain management when you’re experiencing back pain can be counterproductive. Activity increases blood flow to the affected area, decreasing inflammation and reducing muscle tension. Prolonged bed rest can increase pain.

7. Being overweight: Additional weight puts stress on the back muscles. Healthy eating with the right exercises can curb this.

Back pain is a very debilitating condition and can cause absenteeism from work, frequent hospital visits, reduced quality family time. It is better to prevent habits that can cause back pain. You know the saying ”Prevention is better than cure”

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Dr. Lala .A. is a graduate of University of Ilorin who also holds a Diploma in Computer Engineering. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) certified doctor who aspires to be a plastic surgeon involved in creating awareness about women's rights and responsibilities and also training would be surgeons. She is a proud member of various reputable bodies including the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI). She loves to read, write, sleep and play the drums in her spare time.

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