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  • Dr. Mark Freund

10 Bad Habits That Cause Back Pain

bad habits that cause back pain

Believe it or not, back pain is a consequence of unhealthy lifestyles that people tend to overlook. The reasons may sometimes not be related to your back, but they can cause you serious long-term problems if you are not careful. The daily back pain is often due to harmful habits that people may not even know they have adopted, such as poor diet and lack of exercise. It can be surprising to see how several bad habits can contribute to back pain. We’ve provided a list of bad habits that you need to correct now to avoid a lifetime of back pain. By ditching these bad habits, you can make your back healthier and more robust and manage back pain better.

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain can be related to an injury, strain, or a persistent chronic problem. Determining the cause of back pain can be complicated, but you can take many different measures to alleviate it and prevent it from getting worse. For instance, if the reason for back pain is poor lifestyle and bad habits, perhaps working towards change for yourself and adopting healthier habits is a good first step. Here are some of the worst habits that could cause or worsen back pain and some simple solutions to correct them.

If you are still experiencing back pain despite living a healthy lifestyle or you want to learn more about back pain management and treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team at Natural Care Chiropractic can help you manage your pain and help you find a permanent solution to your condition.

1. Lifting Heavy Objects

Chronic back pain is a debilitating problem that can occur if you frequently lift heavy objects. However, this can be prevented and managed if you lift properly. When you lift, bend your knees and bring your hips and back to chest level, lifting straight rather than twisting or bending, and keep your back straight as you get up.

2. Postural Stress

Sometimes, back pain can occur due to postural stress. Poor posture while sitting, standing, and sleeping often leads to back pain, as the curvature of the spine changes depending on how you stand, sit and sleep. In the age of technology, poor posture is widespread and manifests itself in many ways. People spend hours looking at their smartphones, leaning over a desk, or sitting in their chairs with rounded shoulders. It is not only spinal cord disease that causes pain, but also bad habits that strain the spine, such as poor posture, or the wrong posture, and lack of mobility.

suffering from back pain at work

3. Sitting for Long Periods

Sitting for long periods can put a strain on the intervertebral discs, which can cause pain. When you are in a fixed position for a long period, the discs do not get a chance to breathe and are pushed into a position where there is no room for movement. This, in turn, causes the back muscles to work harder, causing pain. If you sit for a long time and don’t take breaks to stand or walk around, your discs may not function properly because they can become compressed, causing lower back tension that can generate pain.

4. Wearing the Wrong Shoes

Shoes may not provide enough support to keep the back in a comfortable position throughout the day. High heels can put additional strain on the feet and spine and cause pain in the back. If the shoes are too flat, there is a risk of back pain, lower back pain, and upper spinal pain. Shoes with heels less than 1 inch are best for the back and should be worn for comfort and convenience. Your shoes should provide sufficient support to keep the spine in a comfortable and average position.

5. Twisting the Spine

People tend to twist their spine while playing golf, or when they are picking up toddlers or heavy boxes. Twisting the spine is one of the main reasons people have back pain, especially in the lower back - the area of the back that is most involved in twisting. Pain caused by twisting and bending is often caused by sprains or the development of a herniated disc. It is also possible that soft tissues become tense or sprained, and muscles and ligaments spread.

patient describing back pain to chiropractor

6. Smoking

Smoking has been shown to degenerate the spinal cord tissue as nicotine blocks the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the intervertebral discs. Degenerative disc disease can occur, but it can also cause pain in the lower spinal cord. We know that nicotine is toxic to the intervertebral discs in the back, but many people are unaware that it can also cause chronic back pain in individuals with degenerative disc disease. Smoking promotes other changes in your body that contribute to general and chronic pain. It disrupts the blood supply, causing the intervertebral disc cells to lose oxygen and nutrients, which in turn can cause pain and inflammation. Smoking is known to be one of the most common causes of spinal cord injury in men and women. It exacerbates other factors such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other diseases, as well as a host of other negative effects on health.

7. Poor Diet

A healthy diet plan ensures that muscles, ligaments, and tendons are nourished sufficiently to promote healing while reducing the risk of inflammation. Follow a healthy eating plan that limits the consumption of processed foods and one that incorporates lean meats, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Eat more protein, avoid too much sugar, and take supplements, such as vitamin D and calcium, to ensure that you get enough of the daily essential nutrients in your diet.

8. Sleep Factors

It is essential to support your neck properly while sleeping to maintain good posture as you sleep. The neck and the rest of the spine should always be in a neutral position. Sagging on the mattress can cause back pain. In addition to the biomechanics of the back, there is also an enormous connection between the mind and body. Sleep is good for several reasons, including giving the body time to prepare for the next day, etc. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re putting too much stress on your back and preventing the release of the muscles in your neck, back, shoulders, hips, and other parts of the body. This stress causes neck and back muscles to stay together, and if you rarely relax, you are more likely to develop back pain. Muscles should contract and relax rather than stay contracted.

9. Excess Weight

Carrying extra pounds puts strain on the muscles and bones in the back, but also on the knee and ankle joints, which can force you into an unnatural gait. If you are overweight or obese, you can minimize the chance of developing a compressed disc if you shed off excess weight through simple lifestyle changes such as daily walks or regular exercise. Whether you walk, sit, or run, you should maintain a good posture. As you lose weight, you can reduce stress and tension in your back and other joints.

10. Lack of Exercise

Muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the back are weakened because of lack of exercise. Having good posture consistently is necessary for your back and hips, but so is sticking to a regular exercise routine. You can incorporate exercises that include back bends, back stretches, push ups, squats, and other exercises for your core, hips, and shoulders. Exercise regularly and learn to take a time out from your busy sedentary lifestyle to reduce stress and develop new habits, such as a taking a new hobby, spending more time with friends and family, and other activities to relax and stay active.

exercises to relieve back pain

While any form of exercise is generally helpful in maintaining good health, building strength, and avoiding back pain, here are a few that could harm your condition when you have a vulnerable back or have existing back pain:


Cycling, for example, is a good exercise; however, cycling should not be your only source of fitness. Additionally, if you ride a bike for long hours while bending your back, the chances of developing back pain increase. You should ride a bike that fits your body well by taking into account the height of the bike, and width of the handlebar and seat. Professional cyclists are trained to ride a bike with a bent handlebar, but that is not a good position for an average person. Motorists bend the handlebars forward, stretch too far to reach them, and take a confined position.


Yoga requires contortions, and it may not be a good exercise for people with severe back pain. However, lack of physical activity can cause the back tissues to tighten and yoga, depending on the position or intensity, can also be a good exercise to deal with them. People can learn to get rid of mild back pain and muscle pain by performing yoga poses for good posture which you can learn from a professional teacher.

How Chiropractic Treatments Help

Even if you are guilty of following a few bad habits, going to a chiropractic clinic can help you find solutions to help relieve muscle and back pain by correcting your spinal alignment or through other forms of appropriate treatments. Our chiropractors can diagnose your back pain problem, investigate possible causes and complications, and recommend the best treatments. Developing good habits that promote a healthier back may help you find long lasting relief. If you have not changed your habits to get rid of back pain, talk to your doctor to see if physical therapy is the right treatment for you. Achieving a pain-free life is not always easy and if you are unsure how to start, ask your doctor for recommendations.

If back pain persists for more than a week and is not relieved by rest or painkillers, we strongly recommend consulting a chiropractor or a back pain specialist. There are many ways to treat it, but the first step is to identify the bad habits that can actually exacerbate the problem. If you suffer from persistent back pain, chiropractic treatment can be a very helpful form of treatment. Chiropractors can help you identify if a bulging disc and herniated disc is the cause of your back pain. However, the first step to eliminating pain is to change the habits that could cause the pain.

chiropractic treatments that help with back pain

Avoiding Back Pain

We hope you have learned habits that can cause lower back pain and what you can do to correct them. Even if it is not always easy, breaking these habits will dramatically reduce the likelihood of suffering from back pain in the future. To help you avoid back pain and pain for a lifetime, contact Natural Care Chiropractic today, and we can help you find relief from back pain without surgery or medication.


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