I’m sure you have heard the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, well I want to give you tips to a stronger, healthier back and possibly prevent future problems from arising. I see people every day with low back pains, shoulder pains and headaches but I will often encourage my clients to do a few simple things to achieve better health and reduce the need for acute care. Sounds strange, a chiropractor want clients to visit me less. Well, let me explain what chiropractors do.
Chiropractic is one of the youngest of the natural healing arts… non-drug and non-surgical specialist of the neuromusculoskeletal system (big term that simply means we care for the nerves, muscles and bones of the body). While many chiropractors acknowledge the important use of medication and surgery in appropriate cases, they do not prescribe drugs or perform any invasive procedures. Chiropractors diagnose, treat and prevent mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. While there is an emphasis on the chiropractic adjustment – this includes spinal manipulation, other joint and soft-tissue therapies – chiropractors often include exercise prescription, stretching, lifestyle modifications, and/or nutritional counseling in their treatments.
Now I’ve covered what chiropractors do to help you improve your BACK health, let’s look at what you can do in everyday life to achieve optimal results.
- Ergonomics – meaning: “relating to or designed for efficiency and comfort in the work place”. Work smart not hard would be another way of describing ergonomics. This can mean raised beds for gardening, correct height for cook prep areas or the right furniture for those who must work at a desk.
- Activity – During your work day and those everyday task, take breaks. If your job requires you to sit for eight hours take an hourly quick walk and stretch. Changing activities frequently not only engages different muscle groups but has been found to make us more productive and mentally alert.
- Sitting – Sit up to keep your spine straight. Adjust our chair so you have feet flat on floor, lumbar supported, and hips and knees are level. Position computer monitors at or slightly below eye level.
- Mobile devices – Keep at eye level and use hands free whenever possible
- Lifting – Be sure to keep items carried close and bend at the knees rather than waist to lift. No twisting at the waist, rather pivot on your feet to change positions while lifting.
- Driving – Adjust seat height and distance so knees are slightly flexed and not higher than hips. Take frequent breaks on long drives to walk and stretch.
- Child care – Lifting straight up without twisting and keeping child close to body. When carrying baby, alternate sides. Wear carriers above hips. Push strollers with elbows slightly bent. Use pillows for mom to assist feedings. Kneeling or sitting cross legged when on floor playing.
- House work – Vacuum, sweep or mopping standing upright, move with your tool and avoid twisting at the waist. Standing task should be at arms height, keep wide stance and stand on a mat that reduces leg fatigue. Bending task require frequent position changes, stretching and breaks to prevent strain on backs.
- Walking – Avoid slumping or leaning while walking. Head and neck should be up looking ahead not dangling and looking at the ground. Keep stomach muscles pulled in and shoulders relaxed. Try to walk at least 30 minutes daily. Already have some back pain? This study found that walking just 20-40 minutes twice weekly helped eased back pain.
- Exercise – Exercise at least 30 minutes 3 times a week. Warm up first preparing muscles for activity. Stretch to improve flexibility and increase functional range of motion in joints. Exercise your core, this combined strength in stomach, pelvis, glutes and back muscles greatly reduces risk for back injuries. Core strengthening is by far the greatest tool to improve balance and stability as well. Be sure to end with a cool down. Listen to your body, don’t do too much too fast. Be sure to use proper, up to date and correct fitting equipment. The common saying “no pain, no gain” is a huge misconception. It is possible to improve cardiovascular, strengthening and flexibility without causing pain!! Even prevent pain!!
This health tip by
Dr Shauna Lover DC – Mobile Chiropractor to the Big Island
Contact: 808-209-1856 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I believe your body is wondrously made with infinite intelligence with a unique expression of the spirit/soul within. I only wish to empower people with science based solutions to improve their health. Supporting people in their healing journey with holistic and non-toxic approaches to healing, using holistic approaches to disease prevention and wellness. – Dr. Shauna Lover DC