Cervical disc replacement

Did you know that Americans spend a cumulative $50 billion every year in pursuit of treating their chronic neck and back pain? It’s no wonder they’re so persistent; back pain is the leading cause of missed days at work, studies show. And final figures estimate that a grand total of 65 million U.S. citizens suffer through nagging neck and back pains every single year. With numbers like that, it’s safe to say that treating these ailments is a complete pain in the neck — pun full intended.

Most doctors will recommend physical therapy to treat your issues before jumping up to more extreme measure like neck surgery or even cervical spine fusion. For the majority of Americans, physical therapy will consist of restrengthening your neck, back and core muscles to help deal with the stresses of repeated motions. In addition, blood flow is good for breaking up throbbing pains.

But no matter how simple the treatment options are (and sometimes, like in the case of cervical spine surgery, they’re not at all), the best way to handle back and neck pain is to try it avoid the causes in the first place. The weird part is you might be increasing your risk just by the clothes you wear and the furniture you have in your home. Here, allow us to explain.

Ditch the flip-flops.

Though they’re a summer staple, try trading in your loose-fitting flip-flops for a pair of boat shoes instead. Studies have shown people who wear flip-flops have to adjust their steps in order to hold down the footwear with each step. Do that enough and you might be causing serious problems for your legs as well as further up into your lower back region.

Invest in a money clip.

Few things are worse for your back and neck than sitting on a bulky wallet for eight hours a day. Lopsided support for your backside can cause long-term issues with your spine including increased tension and even sciatica symptoms along your hips and torso. Instead, try a money clip. They’re easier to conceal, after all.

Hold your phone upwards.

Ah, the dreaded “text neck” cases. Doctors have coined that term for describing the stress that gets placed on the neck and upper spine when you’re constantly looking down at your phone to text and email. Unless you want a lifetime of issues and even potential cervical spine fusion surgery, hold your phone up as if you’re reading a book when it comes time to type or swipe.

Look into better beds and couches.

Like to sprawl out on the couch and watch TV? You could be doing damage to your spine. Because we tend to slouch and recline while on the couch, our muscle tend to become overstretched and fatigued, causing chronic pain. If your back hurts when you wake up, it might be time to snag a better mattress.

Trust us — no one looks forward to disc replacement surgery or cervical spine fusion surgery. Of course, not every one of these things will cause chronic pain that can only be set right with serious surgery, but they’re certainly contributing factors. For more information, talk with your doctor or a health care professional.