Most people take their backs for granted. Most people also, at one time or another, suffer debilitating back pain.
Hmmmm…there might be a connection here; you need to show your back, spine and neck some love if you want to be pain-free. Here’s how:
1. Quit smoking
Not that you need another reason to finally rid yourself of this dreadful affliction, but smoking is directly related to decreased oxygen levels in the body and bloodstream. What you might not know is that this directly relates to disc and spine problems.
2. Sleep right
If you sleep on your back, you’re putting more than 50 pounds of pressure on your spine – all night long. To alleviate this, place a firm pillow under your knees; side sleepers should place a pillow between their knees for maximum comfort.
3. Sit up straight
Maybe the best advice you ever got in kindergarten still holds true. Good posture makes you look good, feel confident and sleep better. Stand with your feet as far apart as your shoulders, bend your knees slightly, and keep your shoulders and chin up, up, up. When you sit, make sure your feet are flat on the floor and your spine is supported by the back of the chair. Your head should be supported by your spine, not your neck muscles.
Work on your core
Core muscles, those found in the stomach area, and mid- and lower-back region, can prevent and relieve back pain when they are strengthened. Moderate weight trainingand low-impact aerobic exercises (swimming and walking) keep the muscles around the back strong and injury-free.
5. S-t-r-e-t-c-h o-u-t
You gotta keep moving! A great idea is to drive like you’re taking your first driver’s behind-the-wheel test. Exaggerate all your head turning, look over shoulder each time you change lanes, and turn your head completely around to back up instead of using the mirror. Who knows, it might cut down on road rage, too.
6. Lift with your legs
This is one of those you’ve heard before, but it never comes to mind when you’re excitedly taking that mini-fridge home from the big box store. Use a back belt, like professional movers do, although it will not make you stronger, just protect your back. Let lift with your legs not your back be your mantra from now on.
7. Don’t forget your tootsies
If you don’t see the connection between your feet and your spine health, you’ve probably never worn high heels to a prom. Always choose shoes that are kind to your spine, namely shock-absorbing shoes that are both supportive and comfortable. If you must wear high heels, save them for special occasions. If you wear high heels to gain a little height, lose the shoes and just stand up straighter!
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.