35 Mistakes You Don't Realize You're Making That Are Hurting Your Back & Joints

... and 35 things that can help you feel relief & prevent pain.

Written by Veronika Kero
Originally Published: 
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When something as simple as twisting to use a loofah in the shower can irritate your muscles, you should probably take a second to think about others things that may slowly be creating complications for your back and joints.

It’s true. Our joints are sensitive and get be triggered by something as small as using a can opener. Those small actions are typically overlooked, however, when looking for the cause of pain.

Things like moving heavy boxes are usually blamed and now there’s even a solution for that with the help of these genius moving straps that help anyone lift up to 800 pounds.

But apart from the obvious risk of trying to move heavy furniture around your house, there are plenty of seemingly innocent acts that actually build up tension and cause your back and joints to ache or hurt. Don’t worry, all you have to do is keep scrolling to find better alternatives to them all.

While many reviewers have found these products to be helpful with everyday aches, this list has not been put together or written by a medical professional or expert. If you are in serious pain or need of help, please contact a doctor.

Mistake: You Stand On Hardwood Floors All Day

Solution: Get Extra Padding While You Work & Cook With A Thick Anti-Fatigue Mat

Standing on hard floors as you wash dishes or get through emails at your standing desk can bring great fatigue and pressure to your knees and back. This cushioned mat is .75-inches thick and made of a soft foam. The supportive surface can reduce lower back pain and stress on your knees, feet, muscles, and joints. It has a non-slip bottom and anti-curl edges that’ll stay in place as you go about your business. Plus, it’s made of waterproof materials that are built to last years.

Mistake: You Hurt Your Back To Bend Down & Grab Things

Solution: Use A Grabber Tool With A Comfort Grip Instead

From something as clunky as a child’s toy to something as thin and small as a coin, this grabber tool can get it all. It has rubberized grips for a secure hold and a 34-inch handle for an extended reach. The super lightweight piece keeps you from having to bend down and strain your back or knees whenever you need to pick something up. And that includes outdoor objects as well — it’s completely rustproof, so you can use it wherever necessary.

Mistake: Your Carseat & Office Chair Put Pressure On Your Tailbone

Solution: Use An Ergonomic Cushion That’s Soft Enough To Sit On All Day

Instead of spending a pretty penny on a whole new chair, add this seat cushion to your office space. It’s made of a moldable memory foam that will retain its shape for as long as you have it. So feel free to use it at work, in the car, and even when traveling — its quality won’t be compromised, and it’s lightweight enough to take with you. The assistive foam is covered in a nylon mesh with a non-skid bottom. Just remove the mesh layer and pop it in the washing machine when it’s time for a refresh.

Mistake: You Find Yourself Constantly Slouching

Solution: Correct Your Posture With This Brace

This posture corrector will not only help train you stand up straighter, but by keeping your back in that upright position it can also alleviate back, neck, and shoulder pain. By pulling your shoulders back, it helps improve your spinal alignment long after you take it off. The brace is easy to put on, can be worn by all genders, and is completely adjustable and able to be hidden under many tops. It’s also made of a perforated material that’s breathable and won’t uncomfortably cling to the skin.

Mistake: You Don’t Stretch — Ever

Solution: Incorporate a Yoga Strap Into Your Workouts

Keep this yoga strap in your gym bag as a reminder to stretch before and after every workout. Or keep it at your bedside to start or end your day by freeing up your muscles. The woven nylon piece is over 6 feet long with 10 individual loops throughout so you can secure your feet or hands in for better control. Use it to complete calf, hamstring, arm stretches, and more. If you don’t know where to start, flip through the included booklet with over 30 different techniques.

Mistake: You Fidget In Your Uncomfortable Desk Chair

Solution: Get Comfortable Support With This Lumbar Pillow

If you constantly find yourself twisting and turning in your chair, you’ll reap many benefits from this lumbar support pillow. The piece is anatomically shaped and contours the natural curve of your spine to prevent any slouching. But it’s also made of a memory foam that molds to everyone’s individual shape for a more customized experience. Just wrap the straps around your chair and you’ll be on your way to having a more focused day.

Mistake: You Use Your Wrists To Open Jars In Awkward Ways

Solution: Use A Highly-Rated Jar Opener That Works On Containers Of All Sizes

This jar opener does all the work for you. No more wasting time and putting your hands in uncomfortable positions just to enjoy some jelly, juice, or sauce. The compact piece screws under any kitchen cabinet so that it’s completely hidden and always accessible. Its V-shaped teeth can open any size container, even a tiny nail polish bottle. Reviewers with arthiritis especially find this tool useful, and it has over 17,000 five-star reviews.

Mistake: You Use A Trackpad All Day

Solution: Switch To This Comfortable, Ergonomic Wireless Mouse

When using a traditional mouse or a trackpad, you’re actually squeezing nerves and making your hand tired. This vertical mouse keeps your hand slightly elevated to alleviate pressure and reduce cramping and fatigue. It also happens to be completely wireless and equipped with six buttons for ease while scrolling through spreadsheets or gaming.

Mistake: You Walk In Any Old Shoes For Long Distances

Solution: Slip Into These Lightweight, Cushioned Sneakers

Don’t just slip into any pair of shoes to go on a nice long stroll, grab these walking sneakers instead. They have thick soles with an air cushion that helps absorb shock from every step. They also have a breathable foam insole that add on to their great arch support. Meanwhile, the upper is made of a breathable knit fabric that is as flexible as socks and shaped with a wider toe for more room and comfort.

  • Available sizes: 5.5 – 10.5
  • Available styles: 13

Mistake: You Sleep In An Uncomfortable Position

Solution: Support Your Knees With A Memory Foam Pillow

To help reduce lower back, hip, and knee pain, keep this wedge pillow on your bed. Its unique shape can be used to lift your waist or separate your knees as you sleep, making it perfect for side sleepers or pregnant people. Made of durable memory foam, the pillow won’t lose its shape and will remain protected underneath the soft and removable case.

Mistake: You Rely Solely On Pain Relievers For Back Pain

Solution: Try A Weighted Hot/Cold Pack That Works For Any Area Of The Body

At 24 inches long, this heating pad can easily cover your entire legs or back at a time. It’s also lightweight enough to be slung across your neck for soreness or laid over your stomach for any cramps you may be having. It’s filled with natural flaxseeds that are weighted to improve blood circulation and reduce swelling. Plus, it can be used both hot and cold — just pop it in the microwave or freezer.

Mistake: You Skip Core Exercises

Solution: Do Planks & More On This Thick, Lightweight Yoga Mat

This yoga mat is half an inch thick, making it perfect for those with back pain to use. The water-resistant foam is completely non-slip so that you can have a secure surface as you complete ab workouts and more. Use the carrying strap to bring it with you everywhere so that you get your yoga and pilates in no matter what. The material is easy to clean and lightweight to carry.

Mistake: You Slouch To Look At Your Computer Screen

Solution: Raise Your Screen With This Sleek, Adjustable Stand

Instead of slouching over to get a better view of your screen, raise it with this laptop stand. The piece fits laptops 10 to 15.6 inches wide, can hold over 8 pounds and is covered in rubber to avoid any scratches. It can raise your screen for 4.92 to 7.65 inches, and when done, the aluminum alloy stand also helps keep your laptop from overheating.

Mistake: You Don't Do Anything To Alleviate Tension

Solution: Self Massage With This Dense Foam Roller

If you finish a workout and feel as though you’re walking around with built-up tension afterwords, you can use this foam roller to massage your muscles. The high-density tool promotes circulation and relieves soreness, and the textured surface also gives you a nice little massage. And at 18 inches long, it’s easy to accomodate both legs at the same time.

Mistake: You Struggle To Quickly Open Cans

Solution: Make The Process Easier With This Compact Electric Can Opener

This electric can opener can open your soups or beans with just the push of a button. All you need is a few AA batteries, and in seconds you’ll have a clean and open can. It cuts 360 degrees along the lid and leaves a completely smooth edges with no sharp ridges that you can cut yourself on. The bottom is also magnetic, so the removed lid sticks right to this compact opener.

Mistake: You Sleep On An Old, Flat Pillow

Solution: Switch To A Contoured Pillow That Supports Your Neck

Perfect for all sleepers, this contoured pillow dips in the center gives you neck support for pain relief, spine protection, and a better night’s sleep, of course. The memory foam has been molded into a slant, and it’s meant to cradle the natural curvature of your neck. If the pillow is a bit too high, you can unzip the breathable cover and remove a piece of foam to bring it down nearly an inch.

Mistake: You Don’t Stay Active Throughout The Day

Solution: Wear A Watch With A Reminder To Move Every Hour

For a workout buddy that’s always by your side (or in this case on your wrist), grab this smart watch. The device acts as a 24-hour heart-rate monitor, menstrual cycle tracker, pedometer, and GPS. You can also set up reminders, check your notifications, acess an in-depth sleep analysis, and more. If you spend too much time sitting, this watch will send out an alert, reminding you to move around a bit. It’s also water-resistant up to 50 meters so you can even take it for a swim. Plus, it lasts for about 10 days on a single charge.

Mistake: You Hold Stress In Your Muscles

Solution: Lay On A Mat That Promotes Bloodflow

This acupressure mat and pillow set is one of the easiest ways to reduce back and neck pain — all you have to do is lay down. Both the mat and pillow are made of a soft foam and covered in thousands of acupressure points that stimulate the nerves and improve circulation. Resting on the set for 10 to 30 minutes a day can completely change the tension in your body and give you a simple introduction to what may potentially lead you to try acupuncture one day.

Mistake: You Ignore Aches & Pains

Solution: Relieve Discomfort With This Weighted Heating Pad

Melt the stress of the day away with this heating pad that you can put in the freezer as well for immediate relief from built-up tension. Inside, the pad is filled with natural clay micro beads that are weighted so it’ll also feel like massage therapy. The beads are also completely odorless so you can close your eyes and really feel like you’re escaping, especially because the removable fleece cover is so soft.

Mistake: You Walk In Thin Shoes With No Arch Support

Solution: Add Cushiony Insoles To Prevent Pain

For all the shoes that have the look you want but not the level of comfort, transform them with these insole inserts. Not only are they made with dual-layer cushioning, but they also have a built-in arch support and heel cradle. All of this combined increases stability and makes any pair a bit more shockproof when it comes to the impact of each step. Slip them into your running sneakers or dress shoes so you can have additional support at all times.

Mistake: Your Wrists Get Fatigued As You Type & Click

Solution: Rest Your Hands On These Supportive, Ergonomic Pads

This ergonomic mouse pad and wrist pad set aims to avoid complications like carpal tunnel by keeping your hands straight on their soft memory foam construction. The slow rebound foam acts as a firm base for your wrists to rest on so you can continue to work without any constricting pain. Each piece is made with a natural rubber backing that is non-slip.

Mistake: You Walk Around With Tight Muscles

Solution: Roll Out The Tension With This Lightweight Roller

Whether you just left yoga, are feeling some soreness the day after a crossfit session, or just wake up with some tightness, this muscle roller can slowly ease all your aches away. The piece is covered in grooves and trigger points that can be used to self-massage and reduce lactic acid buildup in your muscles. This, in turn, can increase blood circulation, restore motion, and reduce stiffness so that you’re ready to get moving again in no time.

Mistake: You Sit With Feet Flat On The Floor

Solution: Relieve Pressure Points With Elevation

When working at your desk, you may have your back and wrists covered but don’t forget about your feet. This foot rest is made of 100% pure memory foam and has a teardrop shape that contours to the natural curves of your feet arches. By keeping your feet off the hard floor, you’ll increase circulation and relieve pressure points that can cause pain. Your posture can also be improved by keeping your legs at an angle. The velvet-like cover is machine-washable and has a non-slip bottom.

Mistake: You Wear Regular Flip-Flops

Solution: Wear Supportive, Lightweight Sandals Instead

Make these cushioned sandals your new everyday shoe. Even though the pair has padded foam footbeds, they’re also extremely lightweight. Your feet will just sink in to the softness of the footbeds, and you’ll feel as though you’re walking on air. The stretchy back makes them easy to slip in and out of while still being a bit wider so that it doesn’t move as you walk. They come in some neutrals and fun pops of color.

  • Available sizes: 4 – 11
  • Available colors: 8

Mistake: You Don't Protect Your Knees From Future Injuries

Solution: Wear A Brace With Compression That Still Lets You Be Active

After going through an injury, it’s important to keep your joints stabilized with something like this compression knee sleeve. The snug fabric is made with three layers of moisture-wicking and odorless material that won’t itch so you can comfortably wear it when you want to shoot around on the court or when you’re just at the grocery store. The flexible yarn is also made with silicone grip gel to keep it in place through it all. Start wearing it now to speeden up your recovery.

Mistake: You Use Frozen Bags Of Peas For Pain Relief

Solution: Use A Flexible & Reusable Ice Pack

Ditch the frozen veggies and even the small ice packs and reach for this flexible one instead. Filled with premium-quality gel, the pack gives complete coverage and is easy to fold any which way you want to better cover and stay put on any area. Meanwhile, the exterior is hand-stitched to prevent leaks and keep it colder for longer. The packet will stay ice cold for at least 18 minutes at a time. It’s also much larger than many others (at nearly 12-by-8 inches) so that it’s able to bring even more relief.

Mistake: You Bend Over To Put On Your Shoes

Solution: Use An Extra-Long Shoe Horn

Bending down to put on your shoes can not only irritate your back but it can end up hurting your fingers as well when you don’t have a tool to use. Get any pair on faster and easier with these extra long shoe horns. They’re 30 inches long and, since their made of a high-quality plastic instead of metal, they have more flexibility to avoid breaking. They also have a unique comfort grip handle that makes them easier to control.

Mistake: You Sit At Your Desk All Day

Solution: Promote Better Posture With A Standing Desk

Bring in this standing desk so you can get out of your chair every once in a while and work on your posture while you also work on some emails. It’s one of the most affordable options on the market and is still made with durable wood and steel. It has two separate platforms which can be arranged four different ways, and the entire desk can be adjusted from 27.5 to 45.3 inches high. Your back and neck will thank you for this purchase.

Mistake: You Lay Down & Put Pressure On Your Hips & Legs

Solution: Relieve Pain With An Elevated Memory Foam Leg Pillow

Something as simple as elevating your legs with this wedge pillow can relieve swelling and pain in your knees, hips, and back. You can also use the high-density memory foam to better prop yourself up in bed while reading, so as not to strain your neck. The pillow has a soft and breathable cover that maintains a comfortable temperature and can be removed to wash.

Mistake: You Stretch In Awkward Ways To Wash Your Back

Solution: Use A Loofah With A Long Handle & Comfort Grip

You can twist and turn all you want, but you’re probably not reaching every part of your body when you’re scrubbing away in the shower, and you may be left with some back discomfort — but not with this long handle loofah. This body brush gives you an extra 15.2 inches and has a curved comfort grip handle. The tool has an exfoliating brush on one side (that can be used on wet or dry skin) and a thick loofah on the other.

Mistake: You Don't Support Your Ankles After A Sprain

Solution: Use A Compression Brace That’s Infused With Copper

Going through an ankle injury doesn’t mean to you have to be bed-ridden — but it does mean that you should probably incorporate this ankle brace into your everyday wardrobe. It has interlocked stitching for maximum compression that can help relieve pain and is made with silicone padding around the ankle for extra support. Plus, the copper-infusion keeps the brace odorless so you can wear it all day long.

Mistake: You Actually Use Your Laptop's Awkward Keyboard

Solution: Keep This Comfortable Wireless Keyboard Closer To You

Instead of slouching over to reach your computer, use this wireless keyboard and keep it as close to you as you desire. This can prevent your wrists from bending in awkward positions and building up tension. The keyboard’s minimalist design can make any desk space look a bit more sophisticated, especially with the chic matte finishes they have available. The keyboard can last up to two years before having to replace the battiers and can be connected to up to three devices at a time.

Mistake: You Constantly Lift Heavy Objects

Solution: Reduce Back Pain With Moving Straps

When making some home improvements, don’t set yourself back with an injury. Use these moving straps to safely lift heavy objects up to 800 pounds without having to risk tearing a muscle. The straps are meant to be used between two people, allowing each to stand upright as the object balances between them. And don’t worry, differences in height aren’t an issue since the straps can be adjusted so that they comfortably fit each person involved.

Mistake: You Strain Your Muscles & Just Ignore The Pain

Solution: Get Relief With A Lumbar Belt That Has A Pouch For Hot/Cold Packs

To reinforce the spine and have constant support throughout the day, incorporate this back brace into your daily routine. The belt wraps around your waist for compression that will keep the back straight and alleviate pain, all while offering lumbar support. It also has a built-in pouch where you can place hot or cold packs for temperature activated comfort. The piece will feel snug and as though it were tailor-made for you.

Mistake: You Open Bottles & Tins With Your Hands

Solution: Save Your Hands Pain With This Tool

From soda cans to sauce jars to beer bottles, vacuum-sealed meats, and more, this multifunction opener can do it all. There’s no need to hurt your hands (or teeth) anymore. It’s made with durable stainless steel that’s strong enough to even open a vacuum-sealed container. Plus, it’s magnetic so it can be stored right on your fridge for easy access whenever you need it.

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