St Louis Spine and Joint Pain Specialists
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If you tend to do any of these 5 things regularly then you could be putting yourself at risk for unnecessary sources of pain. These are activities that people do everyday but they can be avoided with only minor changes. What mistakes could you be making that are exposing you to possible pain? Change these things and you might avoid an extra trip to the pain doctor.
1. You keep your wallet in your back pocket
A lot of people keep their wallet in their back pocket, but did you know that this can cause pain that could mimic sciatica? For those that sit down frequently on their wallet, this could irritate a muscle called the piriformis. This can cause the muscle to spasm, resulting in deep achy pain over the buttocks or even sharp shooting pain to run down the back of the leg.
Solution: Keep the wallet in your front pocket or in your coat
2. You rest your elbow on a car window sill
This most commonly occurs with those that drive for long periods of time such as truck drivers. When you rest your elbow on a hard edge like a window sill, you can press on a nerve, known as the ulnar nerve, that controls movement and sensation to part of your hand and forearm. Fortunately, for short periods of time there is no risk of damaging this nerve but keeping pressure on that nerve for a long time can damage it. Symptoms include numbness and tingling over half of the ring finger and the whole pinky as well as parts of the forearm. If that nerve is extremely damaged, it can even cause weakness in the forearm and hand muscles.
Solution: Don’t keep your elbow on hard surfaces for too long
3. Your bra straps are too tight
Wearing bra straps that pull on your shoulders can cause muscles around your neck to spasm. This pain can cause significant discomfort such as burning pain and deep achy pain on either side of your neck and can be confused with other types of neck pain.
Solution: Consider wearing a looser fitting bra or sports bra when possible.
4. You wear your pony tail or headband too tightly
Keeping your hair in a tight pony tail can put too much tension on your scalp resulting in headaches, known as occipital neuralgia. For some, wearing a tight headband can press on nerves that travel along the scalp which can also result in headaches. Sometimes, these headaches can be misdiagnosed as migraines and treated unnecessarily with migraine medications.
Solution: Wear a loose ponytail or a relaxed braid.
5. Your computer screen is too high or too low
Most of us spend hours on the computer everyday. Whether we sit at the computer at work, use it for homework or just for fun, it can become a large cause of your pain. If the computer is too high, you strain your neck looking up at the screen. If your computer is too low, you constantly have to bend your neck to see the screen. All of these positions can give you significant neck pain. Frequently straining your neck like this can even cause the problem to become chronic.
Solution: Keep the computer at eye level. Take frequent breaks and stretch periodically to help relax your neck muscles.