All of us are likely to experience back pain sometime during our lives. Here’s our Top 5 list of things women should do – or not do – to have a healthier back and neck:
Click your high heels less often. Yes, high heels make your legs look great, but they also unnaturally position your heels above your toes. This throws your entire body out of alignment. Over a long period of time, over-wearing high heels can cause severe low back and leg pain. Whether you’re traveling, at work or on the way to a cocktail party, wear comfortable flats, then make the switcheroo to heels when the time comes for the high-heel look.
Watch your calories. Try to shed a few pounds for the good of your back and overall health. Every pound you gain can add additional stress to the ligaments and muscles in your back. Extra weight in the tummy area pulls the pelvis forward and strains the lower back, which can create low back pain. Additionally, if you become quickly tired or have trouble breathing during exercise, it becomes harder for you to get the exercise you need that helps keep the pounds off. And if you’re carrying extra weight and wear high heels, you’ll greatly increase the odds for developing low back pain.
Find out if osteoporosis runs in your family: You’re young and in great shape, so why should you worry about osteoporosis now? It is estimated that about 75% of an individual’s peak bone mass is influenced by genetics. If you are genetically predisposed to osteoporosis, tell your doctor! Also know that exercise, diet and regular testing are critically important for you to build up bone mass while you’re young and more able to do so. Young women should perform 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 to 4 times weekly to increase bone mass.
Bask in the glow of exercise while you’re pregnant. Pregnancy is certainly one of the leading causes of back pain in women. If you’re pregnant, you should do stretching and strengthening exercises for your back before and during your pregnancy – always under the supervision of your doctor, of course. And if you do experience pain, don’t assume rest is the answer or it will be gone after the baby comes. Appropriate treatment can help you receive significant back pain relief during the pregnancy and lessen the chance of having chronic back pain in the lower back after the pregnancy.
Love your big bag but don’t use it like a suitcase. If your purse or satchel weighs more than 10% of your body weight, it’s too heavy – ask yourself, do I really need all of this stuff? You also need to carry big bags correctly. We recommend you select a purse or briefcase with a long strap that allows you to carry it across your chest. And while we on the topic of big bags, shopaholics shouldn’t try to carry the day’s haul all at once – you won’t miss a sale if you deposit a bag on two in your car and return back to the hunt.