Are you experiencing chronic lower back pain? This can be an extremely frustrating issue that impedes you from living the life you want to live. If you’re in Tampa, Florida, then our clinic can help you live pain-free again. To make our treatments even more effective, here are 10 things you should avoid if you want to lessen your back pain.

10 Ways You Could Be Making Your Lower Back Pain Worse

1. Not Getting Enough Exercise

If you’re experiencing back pain, then you may be trying to avoid exercise to keep from exacerbating the issue. Unfortunately, that’s probably only making the problem worse. If you don’t get enough exercise, then the muscles in your lower back and the muscles that support your back will become weak. This, in turn, will make your back pain worse.

You should make sure that you’re exercising regularly to ensure that you’re keeping the muscles in and around your low back healthy and strong. Things like bridge lifts, pelvic tilts, and knee to chest stretches can keep muscles nice and strong and help to increase your mobility.

2. Not Sleeping Right

Sleep is a crucial part of your overall health, but in today’s busy world, it can sometimes be hard to get the sleep that you need. But if you’re not getting enough uninterrupted sleep throughout the night, that can make your lower back pain worse.

You should also be mindful of your sleeping position, as that can have a huge effect on your back pain, too. Sleeping on one side with your knees pulled up towards your chest can be helpful for back pain. You can also try sleeping on your back with a pillow underneath your knees. Just try to avoid sleeping on your stomach, which can put a surprising amount of pressure on your low back.

3. Having Bad Posture

It seems like common sense, but bad posture is shockingly common. This can be a habit that’s particularly hard to break if you’ve struggled with bad posture your whole life. But don’t worry, it’s never too late to fix your posture.

Imagine a string at the top of your head is pulling you directly up to help you stand or sit up straight. When you’re sitting down, try to find a chair with a completely straight back. You should also look for exercises that strengthen your core and back to help you maintain your posture.

4. Smoking

If you’re a smoker, consider this your sign to stop. Smoking can cause a huge range of health-related issues that can affect your heart, lungs, and other organs. But one surprising way smoking can negatively affect you is by giving you chronic pain.

Smoking might feel good while you do it because of the nicotine which triggers your body’s release of feel-good chemicals. But at the same time, smoking stops your body from being able to deliver enough oxygen to your bones. This means that your spinal discs won’t get the oxygen and other nutrients that they need, which can significantly exacerbate your back pain.

5. Not Using Proper Form When Lifting Things

You should always use proper form when you’re picking things up off the ground. If you lift things the wrong way, then you could not only make your back pain worse, but you could seriously injure yourself.

The best way to lift something is to bend at the knees rather than bending at the waist. Lower down into a squat and keep the object close to your body as you lift, avoiding doing any twisting as you do. You should also try to push heavy objects rather than pulling them, as this will be far gentler on your back.

6. Wearing Clothing That’s Too Tight

Your clothing shouldn’t just be appropriate for the situation you’re in. It should also be appropriate for your body. If you wear clothing that’s too tight, especially if you’re wearing things like skinny jeans, that can be a serious impediment to your movement.

Try to find comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that’s easy to move around in. This will help your entire body stay mobile, and prevent you from potentially exacerbating your back pain.

7. Wearing High Heels

High heels can compliment an outfit and add a nice, elegant touch to your overall look. But if you struggle with chronic back pain, then you’re probably going to want to stop wearing heels. In fact, even if you don’t have back pain, you should make sure that you’re not wearing heels too frequently.

They may look good, but high heels will shift your center of gravity. This can result in strain in the low back region. If you must wear heels, try not to go any higher than an inch. For heels higher than that, you’ll want to bring along another pair of shoes that are more comfortable that you can change into if necessary.

8. Using the Wrong Bag

Carrying a bag around is a great way to transport necessary items from place to place. But choosing the wrong bag can put a lot of strain on your low back. Try to avoid using a backpack, which can cause your spine to curve forward and put more weight into your low back.

Instead, try to find a messenger or cross-body bag. This will help keep the weight of your bag even across your body. Switch which shoulder the strap is hanging out regularly, and make sure to look through your bag often and keep it empty of things you don’t need. Keeping your load as light as possible will keep unnecessary pressure out of your low back.

9. Not Using Hot and Cold Treatment Correctly

Using heat and cold to help manage symptoms of muscle pain can be a great way to keep yourself feeling good and able to move. But it’s important to make sure that you’re using both the heat and the cold the right way to both keep your treatment effective and keep your back pain from worsening.

You should use cold to treat pain that’s being caused by inflammation. Conversely, if the pain is being caused by muscles that are too tight or tense, then heat will help soften and relax the muscles.

10. Not Treating the Source of Your Pain

There are plenty of over-the-counter medications and lots of treatment options available that promise to help improve or even eliminate back pain. But unless they’re targeting the source of your back pain, you may not be able to expect them to be as effective as they say they are.

If you want to get the best results from your treatment plan, then you should always look for the source of the pain itself. Instead of just providing a band-aid solution, this will ensure that your treatment is effective for whatever is causing the issue itself.

Get the Help You Need in Tampa Today

If you’re looking for ways to manage your back pain, then it’s important to make sure that you’re not unintentionally making it worse. Try to avoid things like smoking, fix your sleeping position, and wear the right clothes. Also, make sure that you’re treating the source of the pain. At our clinic, we’ll offer you effective, non-surgical ways to manage and treat your back pain. Get in touch with us at B3 Medical in Tampa today to learn more.