Tips For a Healthy Back
By Christopher Oliver, DC, PAC
Oliver Chiropractic & Acupuncture
Tips For a Healthy Back
Maintaining a healthy spine is vital to your health and well-being. It is important for you to practice safe and healthy habits so that you can stay on the move whether lifting, working, playing, or simply doing routine daily activities. Regular use of a self-care program may prove to be one of the best approaches to keeping your spine healthy and free of pain and discomfort.
Even if you have chronic spinal problems, or underlying conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or disc injuries, you can experience improved spinal function and range of motion in your daily life. These simple tips can lead you on your way to taking better care of your spine.
Sleeping on a soft bed or couch can strain neck and back muscles since the three curves of the spine are not adequately supported. Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended since it can cause additional strain on the neck and back. Make sure you have a firm mattress that keeps the spine aligned and supports the spinal curvatures. The best sleeping positions are on your back or side. A pillow can be placed under the knees when lying on your back to take pressure off of the lower back.
Standing and Walking
When standing for extended periods, rest one foot on a small stool to maintain spinal curvature and relieve pressure. The knees should be bent when bending forward. Low-heeled shoes may help by maintaining spinal curvatures and cushioning your weight.
Sitting in chairs that do not support your back may throw the natural spinal curvatures out of alignment and add extra stress to the neck and back. Slouching while sitting increases the strain even more. Use chairs that promote good posture and support your back. Rolling up a towel or placing a lumbar or low back support cushion in the lower portion of your back may help to support your lumbar curve. Reposition the seat of your car so that your knees are level with your hips.
Bending and Lifting
When bending forward, keep your back straight while bending at the knees and hips. This will help to keep the three spinal curvatures in proper alignment. When lifting, keep your spine straight while using your legs to do the brunt of the work. Hold the objects being lifted close to your body to keep the weight on your spine to a minimum.
Keeping the feet, knees and hips stationary while turning, increases the chance of a twisting or injuring the spine or discs. Imagine your body as being one continuous unit from your shoulders to your hips. When turning, use your feet to make the turns, not your back. Concentrate on moving your feet first in the direction you wish to turn.
Do not stretch your arms or back for something beyond your normal reach. Move your body close to the item you are reaching for. Always ask someone for help if the item is heavy or you dont feel you can reach it yourself.
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