A healthy spine is a vital part to a healthy lifestyle and yet, it is often overlooked. Those who suffer with back pain are normally less healthy than those who don’t. Afterall, back pain affects everything we do and it often will prompt us to do nothing at all because it hurts to move.  Approximately 80-90% of us will suffer from back pain at some time in our life. Being overweight, smoking, lifting heavy objects and those who’ve suffered previous back pain are the most likely to have recurring pain.

Following are some easy to follow steps  you can take to help keep your spine healthy. While following these simple steps will help you lower or avoid back pain, they are not a guarantee that you’ll be free from back pain.

Standing
When standing, place one foot slightly in front of the other with your knees slightly bent. This will help take pressure off of your lower back.

Don’t bend forward at the waist for extended amounts of time. This can cause the muscles in your back to become deconditioned which will lead to pain.

Lifting

Avoid twisting while lifting. Twisting is one of the most dangerous movements for your spine and lifting while twisting increases that risk dramatically. Lifting

If an item is too heavy, ask for another person to help you or use a dolly.

Always push a heavy object with the muscles in your legs rather than pulling it and using the muscles in your upper body.

 

Sitting

Keep your knees slightly higher than your hips. Keep your head up and your back straight.

Avoid slouching.

Try to maintain the natural curve in your lower back.

Reaching and Bending

Use a stool to stand on. This will help avoid straining to reach an object which may cause back and neck pain and also cause trouble with your shoulders.

Always bend at the knee when picking an object up off the floor. Avoid bending over at the waist.

Carrying

Carry objects, especially the heavy ones, close to the body.

Healthy Diet & Exercise

Excess weight, such as “beer belly”,  puts strain on the lower back, so try to stay within 10 pounds of your ideal weight. Extra weight puts unwanted pressure on the muscles, ligaments and tendons in your low back.

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to help keep the excess weight off and exercise regularly.

Sleeping

Did you know that sleeping on your back puts an additional 50 pounds of pressure on your spine? Try sleeping on your side instead.

If you have to lay on your back to fall asleep, try putting a pillow beneath your knees. This will cut the pressure to your spine in half.

Visit Dr. Wilcox Regularly

Regular chiropractic visits maintain a healthy spine and helps to avoid further injuries. Keeping your spine healthy with monthly chiropractic visits is less costly and less time consuming than additional back strain or injury.

 

 

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