Back pain is incredibly common among seniors and the general population. This condition has many potential causes and symptoms, many of which stem from everyday activities and habits. While back pain can certainly have a genetic component, it’s frequently the result of specific behaviors. Often, we don’t even realize that we’re engaging in a behavior that may be contributing to back problems, so it takes understanding and vigilance to develop better habits. Here are three of the most common bad habits that contribute to people’s back pain:
Good sleep habits are hugely important. A soft mattress may feel comfortable at first, but a firmer one is likely better for your long-term comfort. Everyone’s body is different, so you’ll have to do some research and, more importantly, testing to find the perfect mattress for you. A brick-and-mortar store will allow you the opportunity to try various mattresses, and several new online mattress companies have sprung up in recent years. Some of these newer companies make some pretty bold claims about their products, and many of them offer no-risk trial periods—some will even let you return your mattress after sleeping on it for an entire year!
Consistently walking or sitting with bad posture, especially for extended periods, can lead to back pain and other issues. It can be difficult to stay conscious of your posture at all times, but we recommend doing your best to avoid hunching over. Try aligning your shoulders with your hips by pushing your pelvis slightly outward and your stomach slightly inward. Your posture or positioning while you sleep may also cause or alleviate back pain. Try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs to keep your spine relaxed and aligned, or try sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees.
Whether your diet consists of harmful sugars and preservatives, lacks vital vitamins and nutrients, or both, a poor diet can lead to many problems, including back pain. Your body needs vitamins and nutrients to be strong enough to support your weight, and bad dietary choices can lead to inflammation and obesity. Extra weight puts extra strain on your spine, so it’s important to eat a low-calorie, nutritious diet. Stick to whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats to make your muscles and bones strong. Make sweets and empty calories occasional treats rather than regular indulgences, and speak with your doctor to get more specific health recommendations.
As we get older, we have to pay more and more attention to our health and overall wellbeing. At Village Park Senior Living, we understand the unique needs and challenges faced by seniors. Our experienced, professional staff is dedicated to helping seniors tackle the challenges and embrace the benefits of aging. If you’re interested in learning about what we can do for you or your loved one—assisted living, independent living, memory care, or any of the several other programs, activities, and living options we offer—please contact Village Park Senior Living for more information. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for updates and to check back often for new blogs.