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7 Lifestyle Factors that Cause Back Pain

Understanding the Impact of Lifestyle Factors on Your Back Health 

Back pain is widespread; almost everyone has faced it at least once. Despite living in different conditions and adopting diverse food habits, millions experience back pain worldwide. Thus, it is clear that certain lifestyle factors play a vital role in causing back pain. In this blog, we shall explore 7 such universal lifestyle factors that lead to back pain so that we can adjust our everyday practices and live pain-free lives. 

7 Lifestyle Factors that Cause Back Pain

While several factors cause back pain, lifestyle factors are easily alterable, and understanding them thoroughly can go a long way in helping us live healthier lives. 

Sedentary lifestyle

An inactive lifestyle has been shown to weaken your muscles and lead to poor posture. Over time, this strains your spine and causes prolonged back pain. To prevent back pain from a sedentary lifestyle, you could try fun physical activities such as Yoga, pilates, walking, swimming, cycling, etc. Generally, remember to keep moving and stay active! 

Poor posture 

Whether you are slouched over while working at a desk or do so while walking, it can harm your spinal health. Looking down at your phone, not having your screen at eye level, lifting heavy objects with the wrong form, etc., can contribute to back pain in the long run. Remember to check your posture regularly and adjust your form while sitting, standing, and walking. You could also adapt your furniture to support your back better. 


Being overweight can directly affect your back since it stresses your body's joints. When there is extra load on your spine, you are likely to suffer from back pain. While additional weight cannot be dealt with overnight, you can try to be active and perform fun yet effective movements such as walking or dancing to maintain an active lifestyle and posture. Over time, through exercise, you can gain relief from back pain.

Poor diet 

A healthy diet is key to living a healthy life and can help maintain good spine health. Inflammatory foods such as processed foods, refined carbohydrates, red meat, etc., can cause issues with your back. Further, eating unhealthy foods in excess can cause obesity, further aggravating the pain. To avoid this, follow a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, protein-rich foods like fish, and healthy fats. 


While we know smoking is not a healthy habit to lead, did you know it can directly affect your back? Smoking comes with various adverse effects, including reduced blood circulation, oxygenation, and calcium absorption. All these factors can directly affect the strength of your bones and muscles, leading to back pain. 


Stress and anxiety are known to increase muscle tension and can thus impact your back directly. Often, stress can lead to changes in breathing patterns and tighten up muscles. This increases the chance of pain across the body, especially in the back, as stressed people may often slouch or find themselves in inappropriate posture. Try to perform relaxing activities such as meditation or Yoga. 

Poor sleeping habits 

Whether sleeping on time, enough or in the wrong ways, these can all negatively affect your health. Sleep is essential not just to prevent pain by maintaining good health overall but also to recover from any existing chronic back pain. Lack of sleep also facilitates the production of stress hormones, leading to back pain. Remember to get adequate sleep and follow sleep positions as per a physiotherapist's recommendations if you have issues related to your back. 

Tips to Prevent & Manage Back Pain 

Make physical activity a habit 

While regular exercise or workout sessions are optimal to avoid health concerns such as back pain, you could consider doing fun activities such as sports, cycling, swimming, and more to avoid following an inactive lifestyle.  

Maintain good posture

Posture is one of the primary reasons why people across age groups suffer from back pain. Please keep a close watch on your back, shoulder, and walking form regularly and look to adjust them over time. If you want to know how you can improve your posture, read our blog on the best practices.

Proper weight management 

Maintaining your weight is crucial in preventing back pain and recovering from it. We understand that it is a gradual process. Consider creating smaller, short-term goals of weight management that will help you eventually deal with back pain. 

Manage the stress in your life.

While stress is not often in your control and is usually caused by external factors, try and follow relaxation techniques, take adequate breaks and rest, and look after yourself as much as possible. This can go a long way in coping with back pain. 

Quit smoking 

Smoking has various ill effects on the human body but can directly impact your spinal health. By avoiding disc degeneration and improving the absorption of calcium and other nutrients, quitting smoking can help prevent and handle back pain. 

Eat a balanced diet

A balanced diet guarantees your body gets all the nutrients it needs. A consistent supply of nutrients is crucial to maintaining muscle and bone strength, which will help prevent back pain

Take breaks

Performing simple daily activities such as sitting, standing, walking, and other specific activities such as lifting or sports can create significant stress on your back. Therefore, remember to take sufficient breaks from your physical activities and allow your back to rest and relax. 

Seek medical attention if necessary. 

Comprehensively understanding the causes of back pain is helpful, but if the pain persists, it is often a good idea to consult an expert physiotherapist. If you suffer from back pain, book an appointment with us today. 

Take Control of Your Back Health and Beat Back Pain 

Back pain is common but also preventable. Understanding various lifestyle factors that trigger back pain allows us to modify our habits better to prevent them from causing prolonged damage. Now that you know how your habits can impact your back health, you are prepared to deal with it going forward. If your pain is persistent despite the lifestyle changes you bring in, consult our expert physiotherapists or a chiropractor, as Physiotattva is equipped to help you follow a personalized physiotherapy recovery plan from back pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can exercise help with back pain?

Stretching exercises help loosen the muscles and facilitate better blood circulation, ensuring your back receives the nutrients it needs. Strengthening exercises reduces the chances of injuries. 

What lifestyle triggers back pain? 

Lifestyle factors such as an inactive lifestyle, poor posture, obesity, poor diet, smoking, stress, and poor sleeping habits can trigger back pain. 

Can lifestyle changes help prevent back pain?  

Yes, one can prevent back pain by making necessary changes in lifestyle, posture, sleep, diet, and proper weight management.

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