It is estimated that about 80 percent of the North American population is negatively affected by back pain. Most of us have experienced acute back pain at some point in our lives, but for many, back pain is a chronic problem. Our spine is the dominant support structure for our entire upper body and is constantly being subjected to stress, strain and abuse. Our spinal cord does a lot for us, aside from holding us upright, it also houses our central nervous system and it is essentially the highway for information sent between our bodies and our brains. It’s a pretty complex system, with a very important job, which is why we should take good care of it with chiropractic therapy. Here are some of the simple everyday habits we have that may be negatively impacting our spines.
Wearing High Heel Shoes
We know they make you look great, but do you know how wearing those high heels are impacting your back? It is well known that high heels can really tire out and even damage your feet, but they can also be contorting the natural alignment of your spine. Studies from Griffith University, in Queensland Australia, have found that frequently wearing high heel shoes, as low as two inches high, can impair walking and be a serious cause of injury. This is in part due to the way high heels transfer the bodies’ weight forward, onto the toes and pelvis. Spinal damage caused by frequent use of high heel shoes can be costly and difficult to correct.
Getting Stressed Out
Constantly keeping your cool is definitely easier said than done. It is important that we find ways to keep our stress levels down and deal with them immediately, rather than allowing them to build up. According to a theory produced by Dr. Sarno, when we avoid dealing with our stress and anxiety, they get pushed into our unconscious minds and begin affecting the way our body systems function. His theory suggests that stress has the ability to constrict blood vessels, which results in a reduction of blood flow and oxygen to our vital organs, muscles and body tissue. This reduction of flow also allows for a buildup of toxins and biochemical waste resulting in muscle tension, spasms and back pain. It’s not uncommon to feel soar and achy when we are tired, overworked or stressed out, maybe this helps explain why.
Ignoring Diet and Exercise
It goes without saying that a healthy diet, natural therapies and frequent exercise are good for maintaining your overall health. This is also true in maintaining a healthy, pain-free spine. Back pain is statistically higher in people who are not fit, or slightly overweight because there is an increase of weight stress on the spine. Keeping active helps promote healthy muscle tone, which our backs need for proper support. If you think about it, our spine is suspended upright, so it requires muscles and ligaments to hold it in place, without it we may begin to experience pain and discomfort.
Carrying Heavy Bags
It is hard to avoid carrying heavy bags sometimes, but it is important to be aware of the very serious implications. Weather it is a purse, a book bag or groceries, carrying oversized totes can be a serious potential for injury. The weight of a bag against your tendons, ligaments, nerves, and muscles along with the natural shift of posture you produce while carrying, may result in headaches and back pain. In more serious cases, carrying very heavy things can also cause nerve trauma or a very serious degenerative joint disease. It is sometimes shocking to see how heavy some women’s purses can be and worthwhile to downsize when possible. It is also helpful to opt for backpacks instead, which have become increasingly stylish and popular. Backpacks provide a more even disbursement of weight, distributing the weight more evenly across one’s back. At the very least, if you are carrying a heavy single strapped bag, it is helpful to switch sides every few minutes.
Caring for your spine is important for your overall health. Be aware of the small everyday adjustments that can make a world of difference. For more advice on how you can better care for your spine, contact us at 905-319-6606.Tags: back pain, bad habits, heavy bags, heavy lifting, poor diet, stress