Are you one of those who believes the current situation has changed the way we live? Gone are the days of the morning rush, of adjusting the office chairs for the umpteenth time, and walking around in painful heels. All that has now been replaced by more flexible work timings, comfort dressing, and the added benefit of sitting anywhere and everywhere around if you are working from home. Yet, are you unable to explain why you’re still going to bed with a stinging low back pain?? If that’s the case, then the reason, in all likelihood, isn’t the usual suspect (read: your work habits). Instead, the culprit could be the common mistakes we make in our day-to-day lives in our posture that wreaks havoc on our lower back. Wondering what they are? Then here are 5 surprising causes of lower back pain, which probably never crossed your mind:
We all love our wallets! And why not? Considering we keep the most important belongings in them like credit/debit cards, ID cards, cash, memorabilia, and whatnot! However, while women usually keep their wallets somewhere safe (which simply means their handbag), men like to carry their foldable wallets with them – everywhere! It is as though their life depends on it. Seeing men carrying bulging wallets in their pant’s back pocket is a common sight. Some of them take it to another level by keeping their wallets right beneath them even when they are seated on their bean bags/couches when working from home. If you are someone who does this, then beware! An overstuffed wallet not only affects your posture but can also end up compressing the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve starts at your lower back and runs through hips, buttocks, and legs. Sitting on an overstuffed wallet for prolonged periods can compress this nerve and result in low back pain1.
There’s a reason why the chairs in your office are particularly chosen for their ergonomic features. That is, to provide ample support to your back. However, when at home or any other chosen spot of work, this important detail often skips our attention. Couches are probably a favorite go-to seating option – be it working on the laptop, watching our favorite TV shows, or simply lounging around. However, what we do not realize is that sitting still in a particular position results in low back stiffness and pain. The seemingly comfortable nature of the couch can easily distract you from the evident strain it puts on your back. So, next time you choose to sit on it, make sure you get up every now and then to stretch your back.
Think driving and the immediate image that comes to your mind might be that of driving into the sunset on silky roads surrounded by scenic locations. Of course, the real picture might be anything but that. In fact, we all can agree that driving can be quite stressful at times. Especially, when you have to navigate through pothole-ridden roads or slow-moving traffic. While our immediate attention is driven to the very-evident foot pain, we rarely acknowledge the fact that driving can strain our low back as well. If sitting on a stationary couch can harm your low back, so can long hours of driving, no matter how comfortable the drive may be. And no, that shapeless cushion you thrust behind yourself while driving does nothing to support your back. If anything, take breaks between your drives to ease the strain. Regular low back exercises can also help in the long run.
Seeing this on the list if you are beginning to think mobile phones probably cause more harm than benefit to us, we don’t blame you. While we are still grappling with its numerous side effects including our vision due to extended hours of screen time, here comes a surprising news: it can cause some nagging back pain as well. Surprised? Well, then don’t be. Remember those times when you’d answer a call while simultaneously performing other errands? You’d often arch your neck and hold the phone using your shoulder to support it. Now, it turns out, holding your neck in this uncomfortable posture for long hours puts a lot of strain on your back, eventually causing some serious low back pain.
Flat sandals or Flip Flops
Flip flops and flat sandals are great when it comes to making a fashion statement. Flip flops immediately spell comfort while giving a relaxed holiday vibe. And, when it comes to flat sandals, you are spoilt for choice with the likes of roman sandals, metallic designs, florals, etc. However, as great as these footwear look, they might have a hidden disadvantage that often gets overlooked, that being its effect on the low back. If you are wondering how, then let us remind you that the human foot is designed in such a way that it requires proper arch support. Remember, this support is extremely important because your body’s entire weight is being carried by your foot, especially the ankles. This is where your favorite flats or flip flops fail. They do not support the arch between the foot’s toes and ankle, thereby increasing the strain on your hip and low back, resulting in a painful low back.
There can be many reasons behind low back pain. Some of them are pretty evident, like a bad chair, incorrect posture, or even improper exercise positions. However, it is the mundane things that often escape our notice thereby aggravating the condition. If you too are facing low back problems for a while now, then you’ll probably have to take a relook into your regular routine. Is there any of the above-mentioned habits that could be the cause behind your pain? If yes, then it’s time to make the necessary changes to your lifestyle. However, if you still continue to experience the pain despite making the changes, then do not neglect it. Instead, make sure you visit the nearest orthopedist to address the issue before it gets anymore worse.