Back pain is extremely common, approximately 80 percent of Americans experience back pain at some time in their lives. Most back pain and misalignments are caused by behaviors. Altering behaviors and making lifestyle changes may help to prevent back pain. The following are a few behaviors that may be causing or worsening your back pain.

Standing or Sitting in Poor Posture

Slumping to one side while standing or sitting, especially over a long period of time, can cause aches and pains in different areas of the back. The alignment of the spine may also be affected by poor posture, exacerbating pain. Correcting posture may not be simple, however, as weakness in certain muscles and obesity may affect posture. It is important to pay attention to posture, but it is also important to exercise regularly so that the posture muscles stay strong.

Lifting Improperly

Lifting improperly may cause injury to the back or may misalign the spine. When lifting weights or heavy objects, you should always be sure to distribute the weight evenly between your feet and lift with your arms and legs. Leaning to one side or shifting the weight to your back can cause immediate and lasting pain.

Wearing High Heels or Worn Shoes

High heels put your body into an unnatural position, which can cause pain in the back, legs, and feet. If high heels are worn regularly, chronic conditions may develop. Worn shoes may also cause changes to your gait and stance, which may cause back pain.

Sleeping on an Old or Uncomfortable Mattress

An old mattress or a mattress that does not provide enough support may hold your body in an awkward position as you sleep. The odd sleeping posture may cause shifts in your spinal alignment. Loose springs or foam may also press uncomfortably into different areas of your back. These issues may cause back and other body pains, and may also affect your sleep quality.

Smoking Cigarettes

Smoking deprives the body of oxygen, which can cause back and other body aches. Smokers are about twice as likely to develop lower back pain as non-smokers. Quitting smoking may help your health in many ways.

If you are suffering from back pain from unknown causes, a chiropractor may be able to help you pinpoint behaviors or lifestyle factors that may be contributing to or causing back pain. A chiropractor can adjust your back, which will provide immediate relief. A therapeutic massage may also help to ease back pain.