Is Your Lifestyle Harming Your Back?

posture advice from our London chiropractorClients attend my London chiropractor clinic for many different reasons.  In many cases, they require treatment for medical conditions and recent injuries.  However, the most common reason why clients seek chiropractic treatment is to fix long-term problems that have been caused by their lifestyle.

The activities that you perform everyday will have a dramatic impact on the health of your spine and joints over time.  In some cases, it may take years for your lifestyle to impact the health of your musculoskeletal system — but it will happen eventually.   In this post, I’ll highlight a few lifestyle factors that often cause back pain and postural problems.

What lifestyle factors often cause back pain and posture issues?

Sitting down for extended periods

If you have a sedentary lifestyle or are forced to sit down for long periods while at work, you are at much greater risk of suffering from back pain and poor posture.  The human body is not designed to sit for long periods and doing so will place more pressure on the discs in your spine, causing pain and injury.

Fortunately, there are multiple lifestyle adjustments you can make to prevent back pain or posture issues from sitting down for long periods, including:

  • Invest in a standing desk
    If you have a job that requires you to be at a desk for long periods, consider using a standing desk. It will improve your posture and may relieve any back pain you are experiencing.  If you do use a standing desk, give yourself time to adjust to standing more often.  You may need to frequently switch between standing and seated positions as your body adjusts to standing more often.
  • Adjust your chair or use an alternative
    Sitting at a desk all day can cause lower back pain, tightness in the shoulders and rounded shoulders. You can reduce the risk of these common problems by having an ergonomic chair that has been setup to suit your body.
  • Take frequent breaks and stretch often
    Have a break from sitting at least every 30 minutes. During this break, walk around and perform some stretches. 

Lifting objects incorrectly

Professions and hobbies that involve the lifting of heavy objects often cause strains and injuries that lead to clients coming into the clinic.  If you are lifting heavy objects, use mechanical tools to help you or ask for assistance from other people.  It is also important to lift heavy objects correctly.

Jobs involving a lot of standing

Some jobs require employees to stand for many hours without a break.  This can cause postural stress, leading to muscle spasms and back pain.  The people most at risk of this type of pain are nurses, retail workers, hairdressers, and other workers who stand for many hours without a break.

A lack of exercise

A few of the clients that come into my London chiropractor clinic complaining of back pain have issues caused by insufficient exercise.  If a client has a fairly sedentary lifestyle and does not exercise, they often have very weak core, lower back, shoulder, and leg muscles.  This can contribute to chronic problems involving the musculoskeletal system and the increase risk of diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis.  Studies have also found that regular exercise is good for the discs in your spine, which are responsible for cushioning the vertebrae.

Sports injuries

Having an active lifestyle is crucial if you want to maintain good health.  However, some sports people can overdo their physical exercise regime or suffer from collision injuries on the sports field.  Active sports people often visit my office, where I provide chiropractic care to relieve their pain levels, reduce swelling, and re-align any joints that have been injured.


If you are overweight or obese, you are putting more strain on the musculoskeletal system than you would be if your weight was lower.  This means you will have a greater risk of injuries and joint degeneration.  I always encourage clients to take care of their health and avoid gaining excess weight.   If you are overweight, I can make some recommendations for changing your diet or help you find a dietician to work with.

Poor posture

If you suffer from poor posture for a long period without seeking treatment, it can lead to back pain and other conditions that require chiropractic treatment.

Tobacco use
Multiple studies have found that people who smoke are more likely to suffer from back pain.  Other risks associated with smoking include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and lumbar spondylosis (age-related wear and tear of the spinal disc).  Some researchers believe that back pain associated with tobacco use is somehow related to atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing of the arteries.  The best way to avoid this type of back pain is to stop smoking altogether.

If you are suffering back pain or discomfort our chiropractors at MotionBack Chiropractic Clinic in London are here to help you. Call us on 0207 112 5408 to book an appointment with one of our experienced team.