As chiropractors, we see people with back pain every day. Sometimes those bad backs are self-induced and could have been avoided with a little knowledge.. So, here are 5 common back pain causes and some helpful tips.

  1. A wallet in your back pocket?… a bad idea. A wallet in your butt pocket looks bad and it will throw off your spine. We see this mistake almost daily because most people don’t even think about it and they sometimes ‘get away with it’ for months at a time, but when you get back pain, you’re not getting away with it anymore. When you sit on your wallet, you raise one hip higher than the other. And this puts a curve in your spine in a way that leads to pain. Over time, this makes your back muscles and joints feel stiff so that they degenerate faster and hurt more and more. Therefore: do not wear your wallet in your back pocket when sitting. Keep your necessary cards and money in a front pocket.


  1. Do not sleep or lie on the couch. We think you probably shouldn’t even sit on couches either. We treat a lot of couch related pains. The vast majority of couches are not supportive for your back or your neck because they don’t come all the way up to the top of your head. Lying or sitting on them can increase back pain and neck pain.

If you are tired, go lie down in bed.  If you have no choice, and must sleep on a couch, never sleep with your head up on the arm. When sitting, put a lumbar shaped support back-cushion behind your low back. You can use a cylinder shaped neck support to keep the good natural arch of your neck well supported.

3. Bending to pick things up without bending your knees. Most everyone knows this one, but even more important when bending is to stick your butt out so that you maintain the arch of your back while you pick something up. The arched back has 4 times the lifting capacity of a straight or forward curved back.

Actually even picking up paper clips off the floor should be done while keeping a good arch to your back like you can see in this 4 minute exercise video by Foundation Training :   Always using proper body mechanics is a wise course of action so keep the arch in your back as much as possible during all activities.

  1. Lifting and twisting. Twisting our body while holding weight in our arms, be it groceries, children, books or anything else, is the fastest way to blow a disc. Disc injuries are very painful and can make you feel pain for a long time.

While we work on disc injuries daily, and they can often heal without surgery, they are not something you would want to suffer.

If you do have a disc problem, avoid prolonged sitting which puts more pressure on the disc. Walk as much as comfortable. See us for proper care.

  1. Another mistake: Carrying a heavy purse, brief case, tool box, book bag or whatever, always on one side. Health is often a matter of balance. Switch things up so that you are not always carrying heavy weights on one side. (Because using one side over and over too much will cause muscle imbalances that give you back pains.

Lighten your load when you can, change sides that you carry the weight on often, try to get long straps that you can carry the weight across you with the strap on one shoulder, and the bag on the opposite hip.

Should you find that you are suffering a painful back, for whatever reason, give us a call today. There are often gentle, common sense treatments that can help you improve the quality of your life. And we will teach you the Foundation Training stabilization exercises that will help keep you strong, stable and flexible.