3 Things That Cause Back Pain That You Didn’t Know Until Now!

Back Pain

Back Pain

We’ve all heard and read about what can cause back pain; incorrect lifting, bad posture, sports injury… but did you know that you may be making a common mistake in your daily routine, that might be encouraging back pain?

What I’m about to tell you, might sound surprising but hear me out and I’ll explain why it can cause your back pain to worsen, as well as give you some tips on how to change it.

So, here we go…

1. Bad diet

I don’t mean like Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers! This is a way to manage your weight. However, I am more concerned about the reason you may choose to go down this route.

Being overweight can have a great impact on your health AND your back pain. If you are overweight then you are putting extra pressure on your back.

Don’t believe me.  What do you think is the number one complaint most people have over the age of 40?  That’s right! back pain.

An example of this can be shown where we store sugar. When we eat sugar (i.e. caffeine), any energy that we don’t use from it, is stored around our middle section and our back.

Another place that it can be stored, along with caffeine, is at your lower back, aka your love handles or muffin top!

If you now think of all that excess weight being carried on your back from sugar and caffeine, is it surprising that a bad diet can lead to back pain?

To overcome this issue, try cutting down on the sugar, caffeine and processed foods and choose more natural foods. This could be chicken breasts, potatoes, and vegetables.

Sorry, Frappuccino’s!  I know for me it’s hard to do without my white chocolate mocha.

Just remember, any energy you don’t use will be stored as fat and the areas in which you store fat include the back of your arms, hips, and back.

2. Sitting

The most common cause of lower back pain is postural stress.

Up to 90% more pressure is put on your back when you sit versus. when you stand. There are several reasons why, the first being that if you’re like most Americans, you habitually sit in ways that cause tension and imbalance in your back and neck. This applies to sitting at work, in the car, and at home.

So many of us are guilty of the same common mistakes that increase postural stress and ultimately cause back pain. Over our lifetime, subconscious habits form and make it easy for us to miss when we’re putting additional stresses on our bodies.

This is the main reason why health professionals have sitting is considered the “new smoking” and why it’s taking literally years off your life.

Why Sitting is Taking Years Off Your Life… 4 Tips To Combat This!

We weren’t designed to sit. The body is a perpetual motion machine. When you’re sedentary, your muscles get less oxygen and nutrients from your blood.

The rule of thumb is to frequently change postural positions and take movement micro-breaks for every 30 minutes of sitting throughout the work day. A helpful strategy is to drink lots of water: it keeps you hydrated, which is healthy, and it forces you to get up and move in order to use the bathroom!

3. Lack of exercise

A lack of exercise and by lack of exercise I mean, lack of flexibility exercises. Many people will be active by going for long walks, playing sports and going to the gym.

Yet how many people actually put time aside to increase their flexibility, or even associate this with exercise?

Flexibility exercises always seem to be overlooked but they really shouldn’t be…

Stretches before and after exercise can help with flexibility, however, it’s main focus is to get rid of the lactic acid you have built up from exercise.

If you are someone who is noticing stiffness more frequently after exercise and stretches, then you will really benefit from yoga.

Yoga is a great exercise to add to your daily routine. Yoga may include stretches that you may already be familiar with, however, yoga is so much more than a few stretches.

Yoga helps you focus on your breathing, making you feel less stressed, can ease tension as the movements relax the muscles and it increases your flexibility.

Just because Yoga isn’t as intense as a fast-paced game of tennis, does not mean that it’s not an intense workout for your muscles!

We recommend to our clients to try yoga on a daily basis because of its amazing benefits – and we recommend you give it a try too!

Need a quick stretching guide?

Get Started with a 7 Min Daily Stretching Guide »

And if you want the most effective solution, read on...

Pilates is the hidden secret for back pain relief. Pilates has been shown to help back, especially certain types of exercises. While many other forms of physical activity can magnify body pain, Pilates is a great choice for those currently suffering or those wishing to avoid pain risk. Pilates also offers a path to burning calories and losing weight that may not be accessible for those of us that are suffering from back pain.

For years now, people ranging from health experts to celebrities (like Sylvester Stallone) have touted the benefits of Pilates, singing the praise of how the regimen sculpts their body without the bulk of weightlifting. But there are many advantages beyond just that toned body.

Pilates is three-dimensional, working the entire body. It is an overall body fitness system that addresses imbalances, core control, strength, flexibility, movement efficiency and balance. And it is low-impact and it works multiple muscle groups at the same time.

Pilates exercise is commonly thought to “strengthen your core muscles.” Why is that important?  Your spine stability and trunk control are an integral part of spinal function. It takes a lot of stress off the joints in your spine. In the lower back, the deep spinal muscles span the space between the twelfth rib and the pelvis.  They help to stabilize and mobilize the lower back. These muscles also protect the abdominal organs, control forward bending, and assist in backward and side bending of your spine.

They also help support and maintain the normal spinal curve in the lower back, giving the spinal column its resiliency and capacity to absorb shock as it connects the pelvis and chest in alignment on the vertical axis. If the deep spinal muscles of the lower back are too tight, the lower back is too rigid to allow a normal range of movement.

Being weak compromises both the structural support and upright posture of the body. Therefore, it is important to release tension in the back as well as to build strength.

Why Pilates is the Hidden Secret for Back Pain Relief

So, there you have it! To summarize everything, having a healthy diet is more important than just getting the correct nutrients for your body. It also helps ease any pressure on your joints and muscles.

Minimizing your time sitting and taking frequent “movement breaks” throughout the day will help keep your spine healthy.

Including flexibility exercises such as yoga into your daily routine along with and a core stabilization Pilates program can do wonders for your general flexibility, strength and more importantly eliminating your back pain. Just because it's slow and calming, doesn’t mean it’s not a good workout for your body!

Not many people seem to notice these problems in their lifestyle and often ignore them because they don’t see how what they eat. Also, what they avoid doing in their daily routine can have a big impact on their back pain.

So please, don’t make the mistake that so many other people make and implement these into your daily routine today!

If you want to know any more tips on how to ease back pain and stiffness, click below to download our free guide today:

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Latest posts by Oscar Andalon, DPT, STC, MTC, CSCS, CF-L1, MWOD, USAW, FMS/SFMA (see all)

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