Tips on how to improve your chiropractic health
With Spinal Health Week on from Monday 25 to Friday 31 May, there has never been a better time for you to start improving your spinal health and getting your #happyback! These great tips will not only get you moving again but may prevent you from suffering from long term back problems.
IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE
Our waking hours are largely spent sitting, standing or walking. Your posture can be aided by doing simple things such as standing up straight and not slouching. For more tips on how to best align your posture visit your chiropractor.
Staying active is incredibly important for your spine, posture and overall health. However, our lives are becoming increasingly sedentary, which can contribute to back, shoulder, neck and arm pain. Integrate exercise into your day by getting up from your desk every half an hour, walking to work, taking up a sport or using your lunchbreak to do some exercise. Download our free SitRight Widget to your computer and you will never forget to take breaks. Also download our free Just Start Walking App and you will always remember to stay active.
TAKE BREAKS FROM YOUR PHONES AND SCREENS
Working at a computer for long periods of time or testing on your mobile device can often create a lot of strain your neck, creating neck pain developing. Text neck is the new catch phrase used to describe injuries and pain caused from looking down at wireless devices for too long. Symptoms associated with the dreaded text neck are chronic headaches, upper back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain and increased curvature of the spine. In fact some studies have suggested that text neck may lead to early onset arthritis and decreased lung capacity. If you think you have text neck or a headache, neck pain or back pain from staring at your computer screen for too long, don’t wait. Ask your chiropractor for advice or assessment of your posture and ergonomics at your workplace.
SUPPORT YOUR BACK WHEN YOU CARRY THINGS
Picking up and moving heavy items without supporting our backs can lead to serious back injuries. However, bracing our core muscles and bending our knees (rather than our backs), can make moving items much safer. This also relates to smaller items we carry around every day, such as handbags and gym bags. Although bags are fashionable, an unsupportive bag filled with heavy items can lead to spinal strain and pain. Your chiropractor would be able to give you tips on carrying heavy items and advice on posture-supportive bags.
SLEEP IN THE BEST POSITION FOR YOUR SPINE
Posture isn’t only important during the day – we spend approximately one third of our lives sleeping, so the position in which we sleep is important too. Poor spinal health can lead to lower back or neck pain, which can in turn impact our sleep, denying us of the physical and mental rejuvenation sleep brings.
Chiropractors generally recommend sleeping on your back or side, rather than on your stomach, on a supportive mattress. Additionally, celebrity chiropractor, Tim Robards, recommends sleeping with a pillow between your knees, to ensure you have spinal and pelvic alignment whilst you rest.
Studies show that smokers experience back pain more frequently than non-smokers1. This is because smoking reduces the amount of oxygen the body receives, which it needs in order to maintain healthy ligaments and muscles. This includes important muscles which support the spine, thereby impacting upon spinal health.
In addition to this, as smoking reduces lung function and capacity, it makes exercising regularly harder. Unfortunately, less exercise can lead to weaker muscles, weaker body structures and spinal pain.
TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT SPINAL HEALTH NOW
The habits we establish as children can stay with us throughout our lives. In the case of our spines, the way we use and treat them when we are young can have a lasting impact on our backs and necks. With this in mind, it’s important to teach your children good posture and how to look after their backs from a young age, so that they can avoid back pain later on in life.
LEAD A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Taking steps to improve your spinal health may not make a huge difference if they are not integrated into a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition, wellness, mental health, exercise and spinal health are all interrelated and connected, so it’s important to focus on your overall health in order to improve your spinal health.
IMPROVE YOUR CORE STRENGTH
Developing strong core muscles are important for supporting your back as you walk and sit, as they facilitate good posture and reduce back pain. Your chiropractor can give you exercises to improve the strength of your core, to give you a happy back.
LEARN HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR SPINE FROM YOUR CHIROPRACTOR
Sometimes it’s hard to know where we need to make changes and improvements in our lives. This is something that your chiropractor may be able to help you with. An assessment of your health, including your spine and lifestyle, may assist you as to how you can improve your posture, have a happier spine and live a healthier life.
1. Scott, S.C. et al. (1999). The Association between cigarette smoking and back pain in Adults. Spine 24(11),1090-1099.