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Back Pain? Perhaps Fashion is Contributing to the Problem









Have you ever experienced a discomfort that manifests itself as an uncomfortable stiffness, tightness and sometimes even a sharp or a dull back pain? At times you think it may be your uncomfortable office chair, a lumpy mattress, an old pillow, or maybe that really intense work out session at the gym?  It could be...... or perhaps it could be the very clothes that you are wearing that are the real reason behind your back pain!  That’s right!  It could be your clothes.  While you should always be examined by a qualified health professional like a Chiropractor at your neighbourhood rehabilitation clinic to rule out underlying factors or pre-dispositions;   surprisingly enough, some back issues are caused by wearing certain items or styles of clothing which can be easily modified to more “back friendly” versions.

Tips on How to Avoid Back Pain

You may be able to avoid back pain and improve your overall chiropractic health if you take note of a few of these tips:

  • Skinny jeans may be flattering but they may also contribute to your back pain. So popular with young men and women, these ultra tight jeans hug your hips, calves, thighs and waist so tightly that your body that they may actually limit some degree of range of motion especially when walking. This can put stress and pressure on joints and may even result in discomfort. So even though skinny jeans are a fashion statement, if you are experiencing back or leg pain, try wearing them less often and choose an alternate style of jean to wear on the day that you know you will be walking significant distances. 
  • Narrow fitting Pencil Skirts give everyone who wears them an elongated silhouette but these fashionable skirts may be so narrow and tight that they can have an unwelcome influence on your balance, centre of gravity, and gait pattern (how you walk).  A narrow fitting pencil skirt keeps your knees tightly together making it difficult to broaden your base of gait which is sometimes necessary when bending, reaching, or even just trying to walk quickly across a room or down the street.  The narrowness of the skirt requires short strides which may put a strain on your back and posterior muscle groups.  Without even realizing it, your pencil skirt may drive you straight to your Chiropractor’s office at your neighbourhood rehabilitation centre.
  • Popular athletic attire like yoga and workout outfits is frequently worn by people who never even set foot in the gym!  These outfits are usually fabricated with materials that have special qualities of stretch as well as wicking for moisture control and often are quite tight fitting and perhaps in some instances even restrictive.  This can be problematic if normal range of motion is restricted by compression in unintended areas. Your Chiropractor and the staff of your neighbourhood rehabilitation centre can evaluate whether there is any restriction caused by your apparel.
  • Regular and sport-styled bras are as varied as the women who wear them. There is research to support that 8 in 10 women wear the wrong size bra, which can affect their posture as well as contribute to shoulder and back pain. Women who do not receive the right support from their sports bra will find themselves fairly uncomfortable when exercising and may even find that it can contribute to injury.  Thicker straps with a racer back feature will provide better support and distribute the strain across the shoulder area. 
  • Bathing suit styles that tie behind your neck (halter style) can also add strain to the neck and shoulders. Take time when choosing beachwear so that a relaxing day at the beach does not leave you with neck and back pain.
  • Chunky, heavy jewelry has been a very trendy fashion accessory in recent years but it can add a lot of neck strain and may tip the balance for some people. A heavy necklace may ever so slightly nudge the head away from its natural position of balance. For some who are already experiencing neck strain, this can exacerbate neck tension and can even alter your upper body posture.  When you visit the rehabilitation centre, don’t be surprised if your Chiropractor advises you to avoid wearing large heavy necklaces to see if it provides you with some relief.
  • Overnight bags, Gym Bags, Back Packs, Briefcases, Large/Heavy Handbags and Carry On bags.  Whether you carry them on your back, one shoulder, in the crook of your elbow, cross body or even pull it behind you; it can contribute to neck, shoulder and back pain.  Your ability to lift, carry or pull is determined by your spinal state of health.  Even carrying reasonably sized bags can cause twinges of pain or muscle fatigue. Sometimes your Chiropractor can advise you on selecting and wearing the right style of bag for your body frame, as well as proper weight distribution and spinal tolerances.

Many rehabilitation clinic patients find that regular maintenance/wellness visits contribute in a positive sense to their overall sense of well being.  Your Chiropractor cares about your musculoskeletal health and can advise you on how small changes can improve your well-being.

CanadaPhysio is a multi-disciplinary full service rehabilitation centre with 7 locations conveniently located across Ontario, in Toronto, Scarborough, Whitby, Mississauga and London. Our trained service providers who specialize in back pain can provide you with education, exercise and treatment aimed at preventing further damage and injury with the goal of restoring you to optimal function.   

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