20. Umbrellas – The small movements created by the wind, or by the umbrella catching on walls, doorways and other umbrellas can jar the neck and upper spine.
19. Late Nights – At work or play; insufficient rest means that our muscles build up lactic acid, which makes them twitchy and irritable.
18. Poor Diet – Muscles need carbohydrates for energy, but they also need proteins for strength and vitamins to burn the energy.
17. Insufficient Water – When the body is sufficiently hydrated, the muscles are filled with water. This creates elastic recoil when a muscle is flexed that saves the muscle 15% of contraction power at the beginning of the return motion. If the elastic recoil is absent the muscles have to work harder at the extreme ranges of motion where they are more likely to be injured.
16. Slouched Posture – Standing resting one foot or sitting slouched causes asymmetric loading of the spine.
15. Handbags & Laptops – Carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder instead of slung across the body changes our centre of gravity and the loading on our joints.
14. Computer Mouse – If the mouse is not sensitive enough, or is used far away from the centre of gravity then the neck and shoulder can become overloaded, leading to nagging pains in the neck and upper back.
13. Unfit Core Muscles – The large muscles of the body do the majority of the work. If they cannot, then the smaller muscles of the spine try to take up the slack – and invariably get injured.
12. Being Stressed & Depressed – Our emotional state governs the release of G.A.B.A., which controls the sensitivity of the pain circuits via the ‘Pain Gate’. If we are stressed or depressed, we get more back pain, and if we have back pain, we get more stressed and depressed, creating a vicious circle.
11. Wallets – Sitting on a large bulky wallet creates an imbalance in the pelvis, rotating the lower back and creating unnecessary tension in the spine.
10. Crossing Legs – Habitually crossing one leg over the other also imbalances the pelvis, whether we are standing or sitting.
9. Pillow height – If the pillow is too high, then the muscles on the back of the spine cannot rest properly overnight, and are less able to perform their duties the next day.
8. Irregular Exercise – Sporadic exercise can lead to over-exertion and an increased likelihood of injury as well as higher sensitivity to pain.
7. Unmaintained Pre-Existing Conditions – Once injured, the spine doesn't easily forget. After the original problem has been corrected, regular check-ups are needed to prevent relapse: Prevention is better than cure.
6. Delaying Treatment – Leaving a problem uncorrected is like ignoring a fire alarm – pain is a message, not the actual problem.
5. Under- or Over-Treating – Over-treating a problem is as bad as not treating it enough. The involved muscles and nerves become overstimulated, and eventually no longer respond to treatment. This often happens when the symptoms are treated, rather than the cause.
4. Earrings in Acupuncture Points – Earrings can cause over-stimulation and restricted neck motion.
3. Living on Painkillers – Pain is a message that something is wrong. Blocking out the alarm and then continuing to do the activity that caused the pain doubles the size of the problem.
2. Flipflops – The lack of arch support and the toe cramping we need to do to keep the shoe on mean that our calf muscles get tired, changing the way we walk
1. Clicking Your Own Spine – This is probably the worst thing you can do to yourself, as the excessive cavitation causes the ligaments to loosen. When we click our own backs, we are not applying the motion to the segments that are not moving, we are moving the ones that are already moving too much and reporting increased levels of pain. Clicking your own spine not only causes problems, but also increases the severity of pre-existing ones.