The spine is the most complex joint in your body and a lot of us don’t give it much thought until it starts to complain through back pain. There are a number of everyday habits that may be behind your back pain. Here are four of them.
You Enjoy Dairy Foods
Calcium is important for bone health, and dairy products are an important source of calcium, but if you are lactose intolerant and gave up milk, cheese, and yogurt as a result, your bones may suffer.
If your bones get soft, you may sustain multiple painful pressure factors in your spine. Other good sources of dairy include leafy green vegetable, fish with soft bones such as canned sardines and salmon and calcium-enriched foods.
Your Poor Posture
As you age, gravity works against you and can cause the spine to compress, and poor posture can exacerbate this problem and cause the spine to compress even further by rounding the body, troubling the disks and causing pain. You can fight this problem by standing upright with your chest lifted and your shoulders down away from ears, unrounded.
Spine lengthening stretches in a yoga practice can be particularly effective in working against this compression as can gentle back bending and twisting.
More so, core strengthening exercises can help to provide muscular support to the spine so that you are able to maintain healthy posture both on and off your yoga mat.
Your Exercise Routine
Exercise has multiple health benefits beyond weight loss, but the type of exercise that you are doing or not doing as the case may be, could leave your bones brittle.
Weight-bearing exercise helps increase bone density in the spine and elsewhere, and exercises that target the core can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the back and spine. Aim for 30 to 40 minutes three to four times each week including weight-bearing and resistance exercises.
However, some popular exercises, including cycling and spin classes, may cause or worsen back and neck problems because certain bikes may force the rider to lean forward and down for long periods of time.
Not exercising at all could also give you back pain over time, as it simply allows bone density to naturally decline with age.
Your Smoking Habit
In addition to all the other health ills associated with smoking, this habit can also damage your spine. A lot of people don’t realize that smoking affects bone and can cause premature disc degeneration.
Smoking inhibits circulation to the disc, dehydrating it and making it difficult for these discs to absorb the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
The backbone (vertebrae) is lined with discs or cushions that absorb stress and shock during movement. Degenerative disc disease occurs when these discs dry out, thin, or crack.