Prevention is the best medicine! Following these chiropractic tips will prevent damage to the spine and allow for those who practice good health habits and are currently seeking treatment heal more quickly.
- You may have heard your Mother say it a thousand times. When it comes to healthy living, its important not to slouch. So sit up straight! Choose a chair that offers you comfortable support.
- Sit with your feet on a footstool or flat on the floor. When possible, sit in a chair so that when sitting your knees are slightly higher than your hips.
- Despite the Sunday Football appeal, it is important to avoid La-Z-Boy chairs! They don’t bend where your body bends. Your best bet would be to pick a rocking chair instead.
- Crossing your legs wreaks havoc on existing back problems. Retrain your manners to cross your legs at the ankles. This will open up your circulation, especially to your lower limbs.
- Hold your head high. A level head is more than a phrase, it’s a way of healthy living.
- If you are standing in one place for a long period, use a 4-6 inch foot stool and alternate your feet. This will alleviate much of the pressure that is put on your spine.
- High heels may look stylish, but if you are planning on being on your feet for long periods of time, forego height boosting shoes. Opt for something more supportive instead.
Working at a Desk
For those who make their living at a desk job, it is important to implement some simple yet highly impacting health tips.
- Every once in awhile, take a break and stretch.
- When sitting, bend your knees at a 90 to a 120 angle. Finding an angled footrest could help you feel more comfortable.
- A correctly fitting chair is imperative, considering you could be spending 1/3 of your day there. Make sure there are two inches between the front of the chair and the back of your knees.
- Pick a chair that tilts back. This allows you to rest while you are looking at your computer screen.
- Rather than keeping reading materials flat on your desk to read, elevate them with a book stand to avoid neck fatigue.
When you are lifting, use your muscles to lift, not your skeleton! Here are a couple tips that your spine will thank you for implementing.
- When lifting objects, leave the twisting on the dance floor. If you have to turn, don’t twist and move when you lift. Turn towards the direction you are moving and then move forward. Never twist at the waist.
- Bend at the knees, not the waist when you are lifting an object that is 10% of your body weight, roughly the size of a child or a heavy box.
- Keep your feet about 1 foot apart from each other. Kneel and squat before the object. Lift as you straighten up. Make lifting an exercise of your primary leg muscles such as your thighs, arms and shoulders.
- >Never lift with your back.
- Grocery shopping fills your cupboards, but it can be challenging to lift correctly. Bring the items close to you, and then lift carefully, as to not bend in the lower back first.
- If you are lifting repetitively for work of for some other occasion,take lots of breaks, use the proper form, and if possible use equipment to help you.
- Clear your path before lifting. Prevention will help you avoid falling or tripping your path.
Physical Activity / Household Chores
- Warming up and cooling down before and after exercise, sports, gardening or any other physical activity prepares your body for motion and helps prevent injuries.
- Using equipment to help spruce up your yard? Make sure to place the strap over your head and around your shoulder, on the opposite side of your body from the machine. Rotate between sides periodically. Electric machines, versus gas powered machines are lighter.
- The best kept dish washing secret is to open up the cupboard door under neath the sink. This can act as a step stool, and alleviate strain on your back. Use the counter for support.
- Use a small step stool or a book for support of one foot while ironing.
- When you vacuum, lean all of your weight on one foot. Step forward and back with the opposite foot as you push the vacuum. Use your back foot to pivot when you turn.
Using the Telephone
- How often have you seen in the movies a teenage girl that’s chewing gum, cradling her highly used phone against her neck and her shoulder, while twirling her hair in laughter? Whether you are 17 or 70, avoid scrunching your neck and your shoulder to support the phone. Hold the phone in your hand, or use a speakerphone instead.
- A light weight headset is a great option for those who use the phone a lot. Switch hands frequently.
- Sleep on your side and bend your knees. Or sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees. This gives your spine support and rest. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
- Use a pillow that supports your head so that your neck and vertebrae are level with the rest of your spine as you sleep. Avoid sleeping on two pillows.
- Be sure to get plenty of sleep every day to allow your body to rest and recuperate. Avoid using a sofa arm rest to watch TV, or laying in bed supported by just a pillow. Avoiding strain to your neck will provide long term leverage in spine health.
- Sleep on a firm mattress. Do not sleep on a soft sofa or mattress.
- Go to bed, or lie down when you are tired, don’t prolong the strain on your neck by sleeping in a chair.