Nothing causes more disability in adults under age 45 than back pain, and these symptoms can crop up and worsen with increasing age. And once you experience back pain, it can be difficult to go about your daily life as usual. While many factors can cause back pain, your lifestyle plays a significant role.
If you’re experiencing chronic back pain, our compassionate team of medical providers at Arundel Medical Group, Inc. is here to help. Keep reading to learn about common lifestyle factors that can make back pain worse and steps you can take toward making it better.
If you don’t exercise regularly, your back muscles can weaken, and your joints are at risk of stiffening, all of which can cause or exacerbate back pain. Research shows that employees who spend most of their day inactive, such as sitting at a desk, are at a higher risk of injuries and back pain.
To dodge these risks, set a break timer so that you don’t end up sitting for hours without standing up. Even short bouts of walking or stretching can help. In addition, pay attention to your body. If you start feeling stagnant or stiff, switch positions or stretch.
You probably know that eating a nutritious, balanced diet is important for weight control and heart health — but did you know the foods you eat can also influence chronic pain? Foods that increase inflammation in the body can trigger pain responses. On the flip side, foods with anti-inflammatory properties can lower these effects, raising your odds of physical ease.
Foods that increase inflammation include fatty meats and dairy products, refined grains, fried foods, and added sugars. Instead, eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fat sources, such as oily fish, avocados, and nuts. Also, try healthy protein options, such as fish, beans, and lentils. In general, aim for 8-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Eating a healthier diet and staying active can also help you lose weight, minimizing pain related to strain from added pounds.
While modest amounts of alcohol may lower inflammation in your body, drinking alcohol in excess has been linked with chronic back pain. If you enjoy wine, beer, or cocktails, try to limit them to one serving per day.
Smoking, too, can fuel back pain. It does so by impairing normal blood flow and breaking down nutrient exchange where your spinal bones and disks meet. Smoking can also cause inflammation in your body and make it harder for your immune system to fight off infections associated with pain.
If you’re having trouble changing your lifestyle, seek professional support. These shifts may not be easy, but there are ways to make them more feasible and effective. Our team at Arundel Medical Group, Inc. offers such support.
To learn more about back pain or get the support you need, call Arundel Medical Group, Inc., or request an appointment on our website.