Poor posture at the workplace and a sedentary lifestyle -- there are many lifestyle habits that might be ruining your back, and you may not even be realising it.
Agnivesh Tikoo, Consultant, Spine Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai and Aditya Khemka, consultant orthopaedics at Hinduja Healthcare Surgical, share what might be behind that back pain.
* Smartphone mania: Many people multi-task and talk on the phone while their hands are doing other things. Doing this for a few seconds isn't going to cause an imbalance in your body, but anything more that that will cause tension on one side of your neck and upper back. This could eventually convert to back pain as well.
* Lifting style: Whether it is your pets, children, backpack or handbag, the way you lift has a role to play in your bone health. Incorrect and repetitive heavy lifting not only sprains and causes muscle damage, it cause a multiple of other pathological spinal issues.
When lifting heavy objects, ensure that all of the weight does not fall on your spine alone.
* Diet dilemma: Your eating habits and weight gain -- especially the ‘bulging tummy' puts a lot of stress on lower back. It can cause back pain. A weak core compounds this effect in aggravating low back pain. Reducing dairy products, increasing smoking, soda, caffeine is definitely harmful for your bone health.
* Spending long hours indoors: The fat under our skin gets converted to precursor of vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is a bone vitamin responsible for strengthening bones, intervertebral disc and musculoskeletal well being. Modern day lifestyle lacks outdoor activities and thereby majority of population working indoors is deficient in Vitamin D. This results in weakening of bones, early degeneration of discs and lower back pain.
* Mental stress: Even minor back pains can be increased by mental stress. Inability to sleep at night because of stress does not allow your body to relax properly. This can cause muscle fatigue and back spasms.
* Smoking effect: People who smoke are more likely to develop chronic low back pain. Smoking has been shown to have adverse effects on the brain pain circuits causing persistent low back pain. Smoking also interferes with the natural healing that body attempts after a back injury.
* Bad roads and long travel: The human body experiences sudden deceleration and random movements which get concentrated at the spine when a vehicle bumps over a pothole. In people who are already having low back pain, this can trigger a new episode of severe pain and spasm which may need prolonged recovery time.