10 Ways Your Back Is Fooling You into Pain, Even on Days Other Than April Fools’

By Savanna Stone
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On April Fools’ Day, everyone plays tricks on each other, but did you know you back plays tricks on you too? Sometimes our backs trick us into doing things that feel good at the time but cause a lot of back pain later. Here are some examples of how we can get fooled into back pain by our own backs:


1. Poor posture

At first, it feels nice to lean back in your chair, slouch, or lean to one side. Your back tempts you saying, “Yes, this is what will make you feel better” or “Don’t get up, just sit here for 3 more hours and everything will be fine.” But over time your muscles grow weaker and the discs and joints in your back are pushed to their limits. Your back fooled you, and now you have back pain. Now it’s your turn to fool your back by practicing good posture. 


2. Lifting incorrectly

Now you’re trying to lift heavy objects and your back laughs, “Oh, this is too easy” it says, making you think you can slip just this once and lift the object however you want. But the next day you know you were fooled and your muscles are angry. Instead of being tricked by your back, squat down and keep your back straight as you lift an object. Hold it close to your chest as you stand from the squatting position. This will help you not make the same mistake in the future. If you have a sore back from lifting incorrectly, consider relaxing your muscles with the Chirp Wheel+. Rolling out on the wheel for just five minutes and day could greatly reduce your back pain

3. Sugar

We all love sugar: ice cream, apple pie, cheesecake, chocolate cake, fudge, rice krispie treats, banana pudding, the list goes on and on. Sugar tempts us, making us believe that the sweet, mouth-watering taste is worth the potential problems sugar causes. Most of us know that eating too much added sugars causes obesity, increases risk of diabetes, and bad cholesterol. But did you know that eating too much sugar can also lead to joint inflammation and back pain? Keep your sugar intake in check to help reduce back pain. You’ll feel better without back pain than you will feel after eating a chocolate cake.


4. Looking down 

Picture this: you’re sitting on your couch, scrolling through Instagram, looking down at your phone. You’re relaxed and enjoying your free time. Five hours later, you’re still in the same position, looking down and then you feel pain start to creep in from your neck to your back. It’s too late now. You’re stuck with text neck, once again seduced into back pain. Doctors say that for every inch forward you lean your head, the weight your spine has to carry increases by 10 pounds. That’s a lot of weight to hold for such a long time. Instead of looking down to text or read, hold your phone or book up to the level of your eyes. This may not save you any arm strength, but it will save you from back pain.


5. Working out too much

Some people love exercising. Exercising releases endorphins which makes you feel amazing. But can too much exercise be a bad thing? Well, the answer is yes. Pushing yourself too hard each day can lead to overuse injuries, sore muscles, heavy limbs, and increased wear and tear on your joints. All of those things can lead to back pain. Experts recommend moderate-intensity exercises on most days of the week because you need to take time for your body to rest and recover from the work you’ve done. You’ll end up feeling better in the long run.


6. Not enough core exercises

One of the main causes of back pain is a weak core. A lot of people get tricked into developing a weak core because of poor posture or simply the lack of motivation to exercise enough. However, strengthening your core will benefit you in so many ways. Just one of those ways is that strengthening your core will reduce back pain. Remember when you start exercising your core again that your core includes more than just your abdominal muscles. Your core includes muscles in the abs, butt, hips, middle and upper back, and the muscles around your spine. Find exercises that will strengthen all those muscle groups so you can have less back pain.


7. Sitting for too long

Sitting for too long might not sound like a big problem at first. I mean, you’re relaxed and exerting no physical strength to do anything. What could be bad? Well, the lack of mobility actually causes muscle tightness and stiffness, which is one of the main causes of back pain. If you have to sit for your job, just make sure you get up at least once every hour even if it is just to shake out your muscles and do the hokey pokey. 

8. Drinking soda

Drinking soda can be so refreshing, especially after a long day. And most soda has caffeine in it which can help reduce back pain temporarily. Besides the added sugar we already talked about, drinking soda, especially soda with caffeine, isn’t the best for you because it dehydrates you. Of course, you won’t get 0% hydration from drinking soda,  but it is better for you to drink water or even juice if you need something sweet. And it’s better for your back pain too. Staying hydrated reduces back pain, keeping your spinal discs fully hydrated.


9. Popping your back 

Sometimes popping your back feels great and doing it yourself even saves you money from a chiropractor or massage therapist. But other times popping your back yourself is hard, especially when you have to lean over the back of a couch or chair or pop it some other odd way like twisting. These are the times that you wish you wouldn’t have tried to pop it because it made your back feel worse. Instead of popping your back incorrectly, try using the Chirp Wheel+ to assist you in popping your back safely and effectively. 


10. Smoking

For those of you who love the occasional cigarette because it helps you relax, just beware. Nicotine actually restricts blood flow to your spinal discs (the discs that help cushion your vertebrae) and increases the rate of disc degeneration. When your spinal discs aren’t as plump as they used to be, your vertebrae can start to rub together, which causes back pain. Smoking also reduces the amount of calcium you can absorb, putting you at more risk for osteoporosis and slowing down the healing process after bone fractures. Smoking also causes heavy coughing and with more brittle bones even a heavy cough can cause more back pain. So get the help you need, and try to quit smoking. Smoking might give you a small high for a bit, but it will also give you a lifetime of back pain and other problems.


References

Bedosky, L. (2019, November 11). 4 Sneaky Signs Your Core Is Too Weak (and 4 Exercises That Can Help). Retrieved from https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/4-sneaky-signs-core-weak/

Brown, M. J. (2017, November 12). Does Sugar Cause Inflammation in the Body? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sugar-and-inflammation

Holland, K. (2015, June 19). Does Soda Cause Dehydration? Retrieved from https://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/nutrition-101/does-soda-cause-dehydration

MedlinePlus. (2020, January 6). Are you getting too much exercise?: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000807.htm

Minnis, G. (2019, September 6). Is Cracking Your Back Bad for You? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/is-it-bad-to-crack-your-back#frequency

Steinhilber, B. (2018, January 25). 4 exercises to combat 'text neck'. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/4-neck-exercises-will-counteract-effects-texting-ncna840291

Stewart, B. K. (2016, December 21). 7 Bad Habits That Cause Back Pain. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/back-pain/7-bad-habits-that-cause-back-pain.aspx

Vad, V. (n.d.). Is Poor Posture Causing Your Back Pain? Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/blog/poor-posture-causing-your-back-pain