Flip-Flops: Often, the blame for our pain rests on the simple choices we make every day. The Cleveland Clinic Florida’s David Westerdahl, MD, shares a few examples — starting with flip-flops and foam-soled sandals. They provide poor arch support, leading to pain in the feet, ankles, and knees.
Solution: Wear shoes with arch support. When you know you’ll be walking a lot, opt for sneakers.
Do you have a phone that lets you text, surf the web, and play games? That’s a lot of mileage for your thumbs. Doctors have begun reporting cases of arthritis at the base of the thumb in younger people, possibly related to texting.
Solution: When your thumbs begin to ache, give the texting a rest. If pain continues, use your phone to make an actual call — to a doctor. There are effective treatments for arthritis.
Your wallet can be a real pain in the back and the buttocks, and it can even lead to shooting pains down one leg. Tucked in a back pocket, it may lead to compression and irritation of the sciatic nerve day after day. A fat wallet may also put the spine slightly out of alignment, causing muscle tension.
Solution: Remove your wallet before sitting, especially in the car.
Many people set their car seats at the wrong angle. If the seat is reclined, you may slouch forward to grip the steering wheel. This pulls your head away from the headrest and can cause neck pain.
Solution: Put your car seat in an upright position that supports your head and lower back. The steering wheel should be within easy reach, so your arms are slightly flexed and relaxed.
Active Video Games
Video games that simulate the motions of popular sports can result in real sports injuries. Doctors say overzealous gaming can cause everything from sprains to torn ligaments and broken bones.
Solution: Do some stretching before starting an active video game. Make sure you have plenty of space around you, so you won’t trip or crash into anything. And don’t play for longer than you would a real sport.
Cheese lovers, take note — your favorite food may be the reason for all those headaches. Aged cheese, such as blue cheese, cheddar, parmesan, and Swiss contain high amounts of a substance called tyramine. This notorious headache trigger is also found in some processed meats and beverages, particularly draft beer as well as other alcohol.
Solution: Keep a food diary to help spot links between foods and headaches, so you’ll know what to avoid.
Couch Potato Syndrome
Even downtime can be a source of aches and pains. Do you often lie across the couch with your head turned toward the television? You’re setting yourself up for a sore neck — especially if you fall asleep in that position.
Solution: Maintain good posture even when you’re relaxing. Sit up straight on your couch and make sure your TV is not positioned too high.
The simple act of lifting your baby out of the crib each day can lead to de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. This is a repetitive stress injury that causes pain and swelling in the wrist and thumb.
Solution: Learn to lift your baby without straining the wrists. Place your hands under the back and buttocks, and lift with the bigger muscles of your arms.
If you carry your laptop around like an extra limb, you’re likely to strain some part of the body. Handheld laptop cases put stress on the forearm and can actually give you tennis elbow, says Westerdahl. Bags that you wear over one shoulder can contribute to back and shoulder pain.
Solution: Try a rolling laptop case or consider switching to a lighter model.
A tight ponytail may trigger — or worsen — a headache. Some migraine sufferers are more sensitive to sensations that wouldn’t bother others, such as a tight hat, headband, bun, or braids.
Solution: Wear your hair down and skip the hat.
Doctors aren’t sure why, but strong smells are another common migraine trigger. This can include obnoxious odors, such as paint and smoke. But pleasant scents, including perfume and fresh flowers, can also be a problem.
Solution: Identity which smells spark your headaches and try to avoid them.
If you wake up sore most mornings, take a good look at your sleep posture. Stomach sleepers may twist their necks to the point of hyperextension. Other people sleep on their sides with one arm overhead. After many hours, this position can strain the shoulder.
Solution: Better ways to sleep are on your back or on your side with your arms below the shoulder level. Side sleepers can place a pillow between the knees to support the lower back. Back sleepers can put a pillow under the neck and beneath their knees 🙂 🙂