Snap, Crackle, and Pop: 13 Bad Habits That Are Killing Your Back

February 2, 2021
February 2, 2021

low back pain

Whether you’re a young, twenty-something active individual or an older, mid-fifties gray-haired grandparent, you are no stranger to back pain.

Back pain is one of the common culprits (next to colds) that sends people to the doctors. As a matter of fact, it ranks 5th for hospitalization and 3rd for surgery.

56% of individuals who suffer from lower-back discomfort states it affects their day-to-day schedules. Unfortunately, this includes sleeping and mating – one might say, it’s a total pain in the…back.

The causes of back pain might range from extreme to trivial, but most of these cases come from insignificant daily routines, which take a toll over the years.

Let’s go over the top bad back habits that everyone regularly makes.

Carrying Your Backpack The Wrong Way

Wearing a backpack on one shoulder admittedly looks cool, especially in high-school. While it does give you a badass rep among your peers, it doesn’t do your shoulder and back any favors.

Backpacks are often pinpointed as the cause of back pain, but that’s not exactly the case. You’re either wearing your backpack wrong or loading it up with unnecessary things.

Make sure you’re wearing it with both shoulders. If you have no choice but to carry heavy books for classes, investing in a backpack with a waistband helps in taking the weight off.

Children shouldn’t carry a backpack that’s heavier than 20% of their weight as it’ll easily tire out the muscles, leading to posture problems. Look for hefty-sized, padded straps, it evenly distributes the weight.

Wearing Purses and Handbags On One Shoulder

Most women have a shoulder preference when rocking their new Chanel handbag – after all, you need to glam-up for the cam and you need your good side looking the best, right?

However, over time, these handbags take a toll on your neck or upper back if you don’t regularly alternate it from one shoulder to another.

It may irritate soft tissues, leading to inflammation, which causes spine-related concerns. If you feel like you’re shoulders are starting to act-up, here are a few useful tips you can follow:

  • Clean out items that are unnecessary if it becomes too heavy
  • Alternate the handbag from shoulder to shoulder throughout the day
  • Use different handbags for different occasions to keep it light

Heavy Fashion Necklaces

T-Pain’s sparkling big chains may dazzle the eyes, but wearing those for long periods is no joke. Wearing weighty statement necklaces is a dangerous trend that forces your spine to over-flex, which causes poor posture and upper spine discomfort.

Avoid wearing these necklaces consecutively for hours, maybe snap a photo for the gram and leave the 5-pound necklace at home. After all, the only place where you should be lifting weights is at the gym.

Sitting Hunched

There’s a big chance you’re sitting hunched right now. If you are, this is a reminder to straighten your back – you do not want to be the next Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The rise of desk jobs and working from home is encouraging workers to slump forward, putting pressure on the lower back. Most people are unprepared for the drastic change of workspace, leaving out the importance of having an ergonomic workspace.

Office and standard home chairs have poor ergonomics, which adds unnecessary strain to your lower back.

Purchasing a brand new ergonomic chair may not be an option for everyone, that’s why investing in lumbar support is a more viable solution. It only costs a few dollars and saves you from back pain.

On top of having an ergonomic workspace, you can alleviate back pain by doing the following:

  • Moving your head left to right and up and down every thirty minutes or so.
  • Apply a cold compress on the affected area.
  • Go for a quick walk every three to four hours
  • Do stretches in the morning before starting the day

Long Work-Home Commute

Whether you’re behind the steering wheel or patiently waiting on the passenger’s seat, a long commute can only mean one thing: slumping.

Long drives force you to hunch over the wheel, which tightens your chest muscles and the shoulders to plump. It makes you appear heavier and it causes back and neck discomfort.

Consider investing in a seat cushion, it’s an inexpensive purchase that alleviates and prevents back pain from occurring.

If you’re using public transportation, a seat cushion can save you the aches and pains from a long commute. It lowers back stress by equally distributing the weight of your body and giving back support. These cushions are light and compact, you can easily stash them away in your bag upon arriving at your place.

For drivers, make sure you’re in proper posture.

  • Sit at a ninety-degree angle
  • Adjust your chair close to the wheel to avoid stretching
  • Avoid extending the legs

You Have A Sweet Tooth

Don’t we all?

However, having way too many sweet treats means you’re neglecting the nutrients your body needs, causing inflammation.

You need to strengthen your back muscles by consuming lean meat, whole grains, and healthy fats. It fortifies the soft tissue on your back, which means you can carry heavier weights without discomfort.

Wrong Footwear

Apparently, it does not only give foot fatigue but back discomfort as well.

Wearing the wrong shoes can misalign your spine, which adds pressure to your lower back. This may go unnoticeable for quite a while, but over time you may experience disc-related problems and muscle strain.

Women need to be careful when wearing heels. It’s not advisable to wear a heel too high for your good, it throws off the spine alignment, which burdens your back.

You’re Always On Your Smartphone

Everyone spends at least 4-5 hours a day on their smartphones, the popularity of binge-watching Netflix series means a person can easily spend the entire day with their eyes glued to the phone.

Due to this, cervical spine tension and wear are now more frequent than ever. This is because of how everyone is leaning forward to look down at the screen.

Bending your head misaligns your head and neck, forcing the upper back and neck to carry the full mass of your head.

You can avoid this from happening by becoming mindful of your posture while using the smartphone, making it a habit to sit upright, and keeping the device to eye level.

Sleeping On A Century-Old Mattress

A mattress is an expensive investment, but it’s worth every penny.

If waking up from back pain is your daily morning routine, it might be a sign to purchase a brand new mattress. An ideal mattress should be firm enough to keep you supported throughout the night and soft enough to contour to the shape of your figure.

An old mattress does not provide you with the support you need to achieve the optimal spine alignment. You need to at least replace your mattress once every decade.

Look for a store that provides a warranty that allows you to return the mattress if you don’t find it to your liking, this allows you to properly find one that suits you best.

You Dread The Sweat

…from working out. Back pain is more common to people who aren’t physically active. Support your spine by building back muscles and abdominal muscles through lifting weights.

Of course, low-impact helps as well, such as walking, jogging, or cycling. It protects the disks situated between the bones of the spine. Do some kind of workout at least 4-5 times a week.

You Smoke

There are warnings all over the internet, billboards, and even cigarette packets about the dangers of smoking. And back problems is just one of the many.

Smokers are three times likely to experience back pain, this is because smoking can curb your blood flow, which includes the spine. It weakens bones faster, causing osteoporosis. The frequent coughs you get from smoking cause back pain as well.

The good news is that there’s a lot of tips you can find on how you can quit smoking. Save your back, save your lungs, save your life.

You Can’t Put The Fork Down

Gaining ten to twenty pounds of fat quickly can put pressure on your bones and in your back, this is especially true for people who are overweight. The excess weight forces you to shift forward, which causes strain.

Slowly change your diet, eat calorie-dense food, and start working out by following low impact exercises. It goes a long way in keeping your back and body healthy.

Bike Isn’t Adjusted Properly

You’re trying to lose weight by cycling, but instead, you experience back pain after the ride – your bike needs some tweaking.

Don’t worry, it’s pretty common for cyclists to have back pain. Make sure your bike is adjusted to appropriately accommodate your height, weight, and body frame.

You can learn more about how you can adjust your bike properly to avoid discomfort here.


Becoming aware of these daily habits will help you alleviate back pain. You can avoid experiencing back discomfort by integrating the tips above into your day-to-day schedule – slowly change your routine to achieve a stronger and healthier back!


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