If you’ve never experienced back pain, you can consider yourself to be among the lucky few. According to the American Chiropractic Association, eight out of 10 people experience back pain at some point during their life, and it’s the second most common reason people cite for taking sick days. Here are 16 surprising factors that may be causing your back pain or making it worse.
#1 – Your hip flexors and hamstrings are tight
Flexibility is not only important for mastering yoga poses, it’s also crucial for good posture and pain-free living. When your hamstrings and hip flexors are tight, it causes your pelvis to be pulled down and away from your lumbar spine, thus increasing instability and pain in the lower back.
Stretches and yoga poses that keep your hamstrings and hip flexors loose and lithe are a great way to both prevent and combat back pain. These include forward bends (keeping your spine long) for your hamstrings, and gentle lunges for your hip flexors.
#2 – Your pelvis is out of alignment
Simple and small postural misalignments repeated over a lifetime can have a huge impact on the health of your back.
Habits that tilt your pelvis toward one side, such as keeping your wallet in your back pocket, or tilt your pelvis backward, such as slumping and poor posture, can lead to issues like sciatica and lower back pain later down the road.
Developing more body awareness along with strengthening the core, stretching the hamstrings and hip flexors, and practicing better posture can help realign the pelvis.
#3 – Poor diet
Eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) is really not helping your back. Inflammation is at the root of most diseases and health conditions, and this includes back pain. Eating a whole-food diet full of antioxidants, healthy fats and anti-inflammatory spices can help to lessen pain, while eating the SAD diet can increase inflammation, and likely make it worse.