When we suffer back pain, we often will suspect an injury. Most of us also know that our posture can exacerbate back pain as well. Knowing that, you might try to be more conscious of how you sit at your desk, and you try to use proper form when exercising.
However, there is something we all do every day, many times per day, that can also contribute to back pain. It’s so simple that you might be surprised… How you walk can trigger problems with your back!
Poor walking posture is a common problem. Just as we do while seated, many of us tend to slouch forward while walking. If you carry objects like a briefcase, laptop bag, backpack, or groceries, tilting to the side can throw your spine out of alignment. These days, it’s not uncommon to see people walking while looking down at their cell phones. Not only is this a tripping hazard; you can suffer from “text neck” if you’re frequently looking down for periods of time.
Correct your walking posture. You might be surprised to learn that correct walking posture begins in the sternum. When you focus on raising your sternum up, projecting outward, everything else falls in line. Your shoulders fall back and your spine will straighten. Use your core muscles to support your back and shoulders, and focus your eyes forward.
Carry items appropriately. If you wear a backpack, use all straps and adjust the weight of the pack so that it falls in the middle of your back. Avoid carrying anything over one shoulder or on one side of your body only. When carrying groceries or other items, try to balance the weight by carrying roughly equal amounts in each arm.
Choose appropriate footwear. Wear shoes that encourage a natural stride (striking with heel first) and support your arches. Avoid those that force you to grip your toes or that slip loosely from your heel. While fashion might occasionally dictate a less-than-ideal choice in footwear, reserve these for special occasions and not for daily wear or walking long distances.
If you’ve been suffering from back pain, call our office to schedule a consultation. We can help you identify the culprit behind your discomfort, offer solutions to these daily challenges, and provide chiropractic adjustments to ease the pain in the meantime.