lifestyle habits you must ditch for back health

Saturday March 14 2020


By Beatrice Nakibuuka

There are daily habits that are likely to cause constant backache or even damage to the discs in the spinal cord. Sitting for a long time, for example, is very dangerous because it exerts pressure on the discs in the spinal cord, which flattens the curve that naturally exists in the back. With time, back pain worsens.

Poor posture
When you sit in a slouching posture, the natural curve in the spine can get flattened with time which damages the discs that act as cushions between bones in the spinal code. This can cause arthritis
“To prevent back pain, keep arms relaxed in the side while you are working on your computer and if you are going to work for long, leave your desk at intervals to stretch. Also remember to sit at an angle of 90 degrees,” Quraish Golooba, a physiotherapist at Case Hospital says.
Try sleeping on the sides if you want to reduce the back pain and if you are the type that sleeps on your back, it could be a reason for your back pain. Remember to put a pillow under your knees.

High heels
Wearing high heels forces the back into an arch which makes the lower back muscles overworked, according to Dr Simon Mabike, a general practitioner at IHK. The damage caused by heels also raises the centre of gravity, upon which your whole weight lies.
Dr Mabike says: “If you must wear high heels, let it be for a short time. Be careful while you walk to avoid twisting your ankle. Carry an extra pair of lower shoes that you will be walking round with. This will keep joint pain, ankle sprains, osteoarthritis and nerve damage at bay.”

Obesity could be another reason why your back is hurting. When a lot of weight is exerted on the joints and the nerves, it weakens the back, making it prone to aches. Healthy eating habits keep your weight in check. Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D ensure bone strength. Remember to incorporate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts in your diet.

Olga Oringa had suffered from a chronic back pain for a long time. When she went to see a general practitioner, she was given pain relievers which did not work. The doctor advised her to put her mattress on the floor for about five days. “When I went for review, the doctor advised me to change my mattress. I have not felt back pain again.”
Old mattresses do not offer support you need for proper back alignment. The mattress should be firm enough for your body. “Replace your mattress after every 10 years or you will wake up with a painful neck and back every morning,” says Dr Mabike.

Heavy handbags
Golooba says overloading your handbag strains back muscles that support the spinal cord. Use both straps to evenly distribute weight.
Remember not to overload your handbag according to Golooba very heavy bags put a lot of strain on the back muscles that support the spinal cord. If you are using a backpack, use both straps to car4ry the bag instead of one.
Golooba remarks that, “Do not carry heavy backpacks on one shoulder because all the weight is exerted on one side which may lead to back pain. Use both straps so that the weight is equally distributed evenly on both shoulders.”