No matter your age or what you do, everyday actions and habits can cause physical pain. While there are some activities we can’t modify, we can fix others to improve how we feel.
If you have noticed pain that you can’t find the source of, perhaps it is one of these familiar sources of everyday pain described below. Understand why these activities can cause pain and what you can do to alleviate it simply by taking a few simple steps.
Whether you are working at your desk, chit-chatting with a friend at the coffee shop, reading a book, or riding a recumbent bike, take note of your posture. Are you slouching at your desk right now? What about when you stand up or walk? You may still be hunched over to some degree without even noticing. While being in these “relaxed” positions may seem more comfortable, you are actually putting stress on your spine.
Poor posture can result in joint and muscle pain due to constricted blood and nerve vessels. To correct your positioning, bringing your shoulders back and looking straight ahead is a good start. Imagine a pole or cord running from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. Stay aligned with this pole or cord to remind yourself to keep your posture as close to perfect as possible. It may take time to get used to it, but your muscles will strengthen, and your improved posture will come naturally soon.
Quick tips for better posture:
- Keep your chin tucked in and your head facing forward.
- Use the back of your chair to align your back upright when seated.
- Keep both feet flat on the floor and your knees directly over your feet when sitting in a chair or at your desk.
- Pinch your shoulder blades back while lowering your shoulders.
- Avoid leaning to one side when you are standing.
You can thank your smart devices, computers, and the like for the upswing in “tech neck,” also known as “text neck,” which is pain that mainly affects the neck and upper back, even causing headaches in some cases. As we use these handy tablets, smartphones, and even desktop computers, we tend to position our heads and necks unnaturally, causing stress and strain on muscles that are not generally maneuvered in this way.
Naturally, we don’t want to give up our tech devices. What to do? Make some simple changes to how you interact with them.
- Keep your laptop or computer screen at eye level. This could mean adjusting your chair or desk. If you are using a laptop as you lounge on the sofa, this “comfort” could cause more harm than good.
- Take tech breaks. We don’t need to be “on the grid” 24/7. Get up, stretch, rest your eyes, and roll your shoulders back.
- When using a smartphone or tablet, hold the device in front of your face rather than looking down.
Lifting and Carrying Techniques
Whether it’s your groceries, book bag, or baby, lifting and carrying everyday items can affect your posture, muscles, joint stress, and strain, leading to pain.
This doesn’t mean we ought to drop everything literally. Changing our lifting and carrying techniques can help avoid pain, even injury.
What you can do:
- Do not hold your baby or small child on one hip. Instead, use a frontward-facing baby holder or swaddle. If you have no other option, switch sides frequently, so you don’t strain specific muscles.
- Do not hang your backpack, heavy purse, or pocketbook over one shoulder. While it may look stylish, you’re leaning to one side, creating poor posture and an imbalance of muscle tension. Use your backpack as intended, over both shoulders, fitted correctly, and tight to the back. You may alleviate some pain by using a cross-body bag instead of hanging your bag over one shoulder. Also, do a bag clean-out each week, so you’re not lugging around items you don’t need.
- When carrying groceries or other shopping items, balance your load evenly on both sides. Or carry just one bag at a time in front of you rather than over one hip. Using bags with handles will help you balance a load in each hand.
- If you are doing heavy lifting or moving items, be sure you have the strength to do so, and mind your posture. Working with a partner is generally recommended. Bend at the knees rather than from the back. Use your abs for core strength and keep the object you are lifting close to the body.
Other everyday things that may be causing physical pain.
If you have a fat wallet, this may be a good thing regarding your financial status, but it could cause back pain. How? When you stuff that wallet in your back pocket and sit, one side will be higher than the other, causing spine misalignment. Carry your wallet in your bag instead, use a front pocket, or try a “fanny pack.”
Style is important, but not more important than your health. When you shop for shoes and sneakers, be sure they fit correctly, especially if you’ll be wearing them for extended periods. This can affect how you walk and exercise. Get measured at the shoe store to ensure you wear the correct size.
Are you getting a good night’s sleep? If not, your mattress could be to blame. A firm, even mattress can make all the difference in your sleep posture and positioning. Rotate your mattress every few months, so one side doesn’t start to sink.
Exercising Improperly (or not exercising at all)
Regular exercise is essential on several levels, and when you do it right, it can benefit your health. If you are beginning a workout regimen, consult a trainer to ensure you do all the moves correctly. Stretch before exercising to prepare your muscles for what’s next. On the flip side, no exercise at all can cause stiffness and reduced or limited flexibility. Get moving, even if it’s a daily walk around the block or some yoga poses in the living room.
Need Instant Pain Relief?
As you make these adjustments and improvements to your everyday behaviors, you may still experience muscle pain and soreness until you are in the habit of doing them all the time. A topical cream like Ultimate RepairX can help with inflammation causing muscle and joint pain, and URX absorbs fast and is clinically proven to restore tissue. Use it anywhere you have pain. This all-natural cream is a game changer, and as you change how you engage in your everyday activities, URX is the ultimate backup.