Back pain is a common complaint nowadays, but whilst many people believe this is a natural sign of aging, the truth is that many of these cases are caused by your day-to-day habits. To help you rectify this, below are three of the most destructive daily habits people have and how to avoid them:
Slouching at a Computer Desk
The human body wasn't designed to sit at a computer desk for lengthy periods of time. While you may not realize it, this sitting position forces your back to experience a great deal of stress, which can cause significant problems down the line.
The reason for this is that your body is forced to adopt a very unnatural position throughout the working day. Your shoulders are rotated forward, causing your chest to tighten and your upper back to expand. In addition to this, you are leaning forward towards the keyboard, which disrupts the load transfer from your neck through your spinal column, causing joints to become over-stressed.
In order to reverse this destructive process, it's important to practice proper ergonomics throughout the working day. This means adjusting your monitor so that you are looking directly forward, moving your keyboard closer towards you, and pulling your chair towards the table. Keep your back straight at all times; it can be tempting to slide down into the chair or tilt the chair backwards a little for comfort. However, remember that this comfort is temporary, and will actually do your back a great deal of trouble over time.
Sleeping on Your Front
After a long day's work, many people sprawl face-down on the mattress and go to sleep. This is actually a very common sleeping position for many people, and it is difficult to adjust your usual sleeping position once you have become accustomed to it. However, most people don't realize that sleeping on your front is actually one of the worst positions you can adopt, as it puts your spine under a great deal of pressure.
This pressure is caused by the spine moving in a number of different rotational planes that it is not designed to move through. If you sleep face-down on the mattress, you will typically rotate your neck to either the left or right side. However, your neck is not designed to hold this position for lengthy periods of time, and doing so can cause the muscles and ligaments around that area to tighten up and become painful.
Additionally, if you sleep with a pillow, your neck is then forced backwards against its normal direction of movement. This causes additional stress around the back of the neck and the top of the thoracic spine, which can again lead to injuries over time.
The best sleeping position to care for your spine is lying on a firm mattress with your face towards the ceiling. Unfortunately, many people don't find this comfortable, so you can use a small pillow to alleviate pressure. Be careful, however – large, soft pillows are particularly bad for your neck, so be sure not to use too many for sleeping.
Looking Down to Text
Smartphones have become a permanent fixture in people's lives, and there's very little chance of that changing anytime soon. However, many people are so addicted to their smartphones that they walk down the street checking their messages, or sit at home checking their social media.
The problem with this is that this constant rotation of the neck can cause severe problems for the neck and thoracic spine. Constantly looking downwards forces the spine to move out of its natural configuration, and the forward positioning of the head can cause a severe imbalance that your spine has to account for.
The easiest way to limit this is to be vigilant with the amount of time spent checking your phone, as this will allow you to practice proper posture during your day-to-day life. If you do need to check your phone, hold it outwards and at chest height to ensure your body remains balanced at all times.
For more help, contact a center like Tedder Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center.