In honor of National Chiropractic Health Month, in this month's post, we will focusing on keeping your spine healthy. A healthy spine is an often over-looked and essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately 80% of the population suffers from spinal pain at some point during their life. Below are our favorite spinal health tips from the ACA that can help to keep your spine happy!
- When standing, keep one foot in front of the other, with your knees slightly bent. This position helps to keep pressure off your lower back.
- Keep your head level. Your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders, do not push your head forward, backward or to the side.
- Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or front one foot to the other, if you have to stand for a long time.
- At all times avoid twisting while liftting, this is the most common way we see patients injury their lower back. Twisting is one of the most dangerous motions for your spine.
- If the item is too heavy to lift, pushing it is easier on your lower back than pulling it. Whenever possible, use your legs, not your back or upper body to push the item.
- Get someone to help!
- Keep your knees slightly lower than your hips, with your head up and your back straight.
- Avoid rolling your shoulders forward (slouching)
- Try to maintain a natural curve in your lower back
- Take frequent standing breaks if you need to sit for a long period, or use an adjustable height desk.
Reaching & Bending
- When reaching for something overhead stand on a stool. Straining to reach for overhead objects may not only hurt your mid back and neck, but injury your shoulder as well.
- Do not bend over at the waist to pick up items from the floor. Instead, kneel down on one knee as close as possible to the item you are lifting, with the other foot flat on the floor and pick the item up or bend at the knees, keep the item close to your body, and lift with your legs not your back
- Sleeping on your back puts approximately 50 pounds of pressure on your spine. Placing a pillow under your knees while lying on your back cuts the pressure on your spine roughly in half.
- Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees may also reduce the pressure on your back and hips
- When texting, bring your arms up in front of your eyes so you don't need to look down to see the screen.
- When using a computer or mobile device, look down with your eyes, and if you wear glasses, make sure you also can scan the entire screen without moving your head.
- When sitting at a device, make sure your feet are firmly flat on the floor or footrest with your knees lower than your hips. Make sure you can use your device without reaching.
- Never pinch the phone between your ear and shoulder. Use a headset or speaker to reduce shoulder strain.
Thanks to the American Chiropractic Association for promoting National Chiropractic Health Month! For all things chiropractic, including information about the profession, and many more wellness tips, the ACA is a wonderful resource for patients.