Back pain is one of the most common ailments affecting millions of people worldwide and it’s important to know the 7 bad habits that cause back pain.

Whether it’s a dull ache or sharp, debilitating pain, it can significantly
impact your daily life and overall well-being. 

Understanding and addressing these habits is crucial for maintaining a healthy back and preventing chronic pain and small changes in your daily routine can make a big difference in your spine health and quality of life.


7 bad habits that cause back pain

  • Poor posture
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Improper lifting techniques
  • Sleeping on an unsupportive mattress
  • Wearing unsuitable footwear
  • Ignoring core strength
  • Stress and poor ergonomics at work
bad habits that cause Back Pain

At Core Wellness Centre, we specialize in helping you identify and correct these habits through a range of services including chiropractic care, physiotherapy, osteopathy and Registered Massage Therapy (RMT).

Our team of experts are dedicated to providing comprehensive care and personalized treatment plans to help you achieve and maintain a pain-free back.

Here are the seven common bad habits that cause back pain and practical tips. By making these simple adjustments, you can protect your spine and enjoy a healthier, more active life. 

1. Poor Posture

Slouching and improper posture are some of the leading causes of chronic back pain. Whether you’re sitting at a desk, standing in line, or even lounging on the couch, maintaining a poor posture can place undue stress on your spine and surrounding muscles.

Over time, this constant strain can lead to misalignment and discomfort. Good posture means keeping your spine in a neutral position, with your ears aligned over your shoulders, shoulders pulled back, and back straight. This alignment helps distribute your body weight evenly and reduces the strain on your back muscles.

It’s easy to fall into the habit of slouching, especially during long hours
of work or relaxation. To combat this, make a conscious effort
to check your posture throughout the day.

Use ergonomic chairs, adjust your computer screen to eye level, and take breaks to stand and stretch.  Our chiropractor, Dr. Kris, and professional physiotherapists at Core Wellness Centre are experts in assessing and correcting posture.

They can provide targeted treatments and exercises to help you develop and maintain good posture, preventing chronic pain and improving your overall spinal health.

2. Sedentary Lifestyle, Sitting for Long Periods of Time

In today’s digital age, many of us spend a significant portion of our day sitting—whether it’s at a desk, in a car, or on the couch. This sedentary lifestyle can have detrimental effects on your back.

Prolonged sitting weakens the muscles that support your spine, reduces flexibility, and increases the risk of developing chronic back pain.

When you sit for extended periods, your hip flexors tighten, your glutes weaken, and your lower back muscles become overstressed, all of which can contribute to pain and discomfort.

  • Incorporating regular movement and exercise into your daily routine is crucial for maintaining a healthy back.
  • Aim to stand up and move around at least once every hour. Simple activities like walking, stretching, and doing basic exercises can make a significant difference.
  • Consider integrating activities that strengthen your core and back muscles, such as yoga or Pilates.

At Core Wellness Centre, our osteopathy and RMT Registered Massage Therapy services are designed to address the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. Our practitioners can help alleviate pain, improve flexibility, and develop a personalized exercise plan to keep you active and healthy.

By breaking the habit of prolonged sitting and embracing a more active lifestyle, you can significantly reduce the risk of back pain and enhance your overall well-being.

3. Improper Lifting Techniques

Proper lifting techniques

Improper lifting techniques are a common cause of acute back injuries and chronic pain. Whether you’re lifting heavy objects at work or picking up your child at home, using incorrect body mechanics can put excessive strain on your back muscles and spine.

One of the most common mistakes is bending at the waist and using your back to lift, rather than bending your knees and using your leg muscles. This places tremendous pressure on the discs and vertebrae of your spine, increasing the risk of sprains, strains, and even herniated discs.

To prevent lifting-related injuries, it’s essential to practice proper lifting techniques. Start by assessing the weight of the object and plan your lift accordingly. Stand close to the object with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees, and keep your back straight as you lift.

Hold the object close to your body and use your leg muscles to power the lift.
Avoid twisting your spine while carrying the object, as this can strain
your back muscles and lead to injury.

If you’ve experienced a lifting-related injury or want to learn more about proper lifting techniques, we’re here to help.  We offer personalized assessments and treatments to address back pain caused by improper lifting and teach you safe lifting practices to protect your spine in the future.

4. Sleeping on an Unsupportive Mattress

The quality of your mattress plays a significant role in your spinal health and overall sleep quality. Sleeping on an old or unsupportive mattress can lead to poor sleep posture, misalignment of the spine, and chronic back pain.

A mattress that’s too soft fails to provide adequate support, causing your spine to sink into the mattress and placing strain on your muscles and ligaments. On the other hand, a mattress that’s too firm can create pressure points and exacerbate existing back issues.

When choosing a mattress, opt for one that offers medium-firm support to maintain the natural curvature of your spine. Your sleeping position also matters—whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, your mattress should provide proper alignment and support for your body.

Additionally, consider investing in pillows that support your neck and spine in
a neutral position, further enhancing your sleep quality and spinal health.

At Core Wellness Centre in Toronto, our osteopathy and RMT services can address sleep-related back issues and provide recommendations for improving your sleep environment.

Whether you’re experiencing back pain due to an unsupportive mattress or want to optimize your sleep posture, our practitioners can help you achieve restorative sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free.

5. Wearing Unsuitable Footwear

Custom Orthotics Toronto

Your choice of footwear can significantly impact your spinal health and overall posture. High heels, flip-flops, and unsupportive shoes can alter the alignment of your body, leading to poor posture and back pain.

  • High heels, in particular, shift your body’s center of gravity forward, causing excessive curvature of the spine and placing strain on your lower back muscles.
  • Flip-flops offer minimal support and can cause your feet to overpronate, leading to misalignment throughout your body.
  • To promote spinal health and prevent back pain, opt for shoes that provide proper arch support, cushioning, and stability.
  • Look for shoes with a low to moderate heel height and a wide toe box to allow for natural foot movement.
  • Consider using orthotic inserts to provide additional support and alignment for your feet and spine.

By choosing footwear that prioritizes comfort and support, you can reduce the risk of back pain and improve your overall posture.

Our chiropractors and physiotherapists can help alleviate pain caused by unsuitable footwear and provide recommendations for footwear that supports spinal health and Dr. Kris offers custom made orthotics designed with molds of your feet. 

Whether you’re dealing with chronic back pain or want to prevent future issues, our team can work with you to address the underlying causes and promote optimal spinal alignment.

6. Core Strength

Core Strength

Your core muscles play a crucial role in supporting your spine and maintaining proper posture, and a weak core can lead to instability in the spine, increasing the risk of back pain and injury.

Many people neglect their core muscles in their exercise routine, focusing instead on isolated muscle groups or cardiovascular fitness. However, strengthening your core muscles is essential for overall spinal health and preventing back pain.

  • Incorporate exercises that target the core muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back, into your workout routine.
  • Planks, bridges, and exercises are effective for strengthening the core and improving spinal stability.
  • Practicing good posture throughout the day helps engage and strengthen the core muscles, promoting better spinal alignment and reducing the risk of back pain.

At Core Wellness Centre, our physiotherapists and RMTs can develop personalized exercise programs to target your core muscles and improve spinal stability. Whether you’re recovering from a back injury or want to prevent future issues, our team can help you build a strong core and maintain optimal spinal health.

7. Stress and Poor Ergonomics at Work

High levels of stress and poor ergonomic conditions in the workplace can contribute to muscle tension and back pain. Sitting for prolonged periods in a poorly designed chair or hunching over a computer can place strain on your back muscles and exacerbate existing spinal issues.

Also, stress can lead to muscle tension and tightness, further
increasing the risk of back pain and discomfort.

To reduce the risk of work-related back pain, prioritize ergonomics in your workspace.

  • Use an adjustable chair that supports your lower back and promotes proper posture.
  • Position your computer screen at eye level to reduce strain on your neck and shoulders.
  • Take regular breaks to stretch and move around throughout the day, allowing your muscles to relax and reduce tension.
  • Practice stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to alleviate muscle tension and promote relaxation.

Our professional chiropractors, physiotherapists and RMTs can help manage work-related back pain and provide ergonomic assessments to optimize your workspace.

Whether you’re experiencing back pain due to poor ergonomics or high levels of stress, our team can develop a personalized treatment plan to address your specific needs and improve your spinal health.

Back pain is a prevalent issue that can significantly impact your quality of life. By identifying and addressing common bad habits, you can take proactive steps to prevent and alleviate back pain.

We’ve explored seven bad habits that cause back pain, including poor posture, a sedentary lifestyle, improper lifting techniques, sleeping on an unsupportive mattress, wearing unsuitable footwear, ignoring core strength, and experiencing stress and poor ergonomics at work.

At Core Wellness Centre, we’re committed to helping you achieve and maintain a healthy back.  Our team of experts offers a range of services and the latest technologies to address your specific needs and promote spinal health including Spinal Decompression Therapy and Y Strap Adjustments if required.


Whether you’re dealing with chronic back pain or want to prevent future issues, we’re here to support you on your journey to a pain-free back and improved well-being.

Take the first step towards a healthier back today by scheduling an appointment with us. Our experienced practitioners will conduct a personalized assessment and develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. 

Have extended health care insurance?  We offer direct billing and facilitate claims on your behalf.

Don’t let back pain hold you back from living your best life—contact us today to start your journey towards optimal spinal health.

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