While there are simple things you can do every day to help strengthen back muscles and to avoid back injury, the fact is that your spine needs more than a “quick fix” to restore you to optimal health. You need the help of a trained professional who can assess your spine and customize a treatment plan that addresses the root cause of your back pain.
1. Practice Good Posture: Sitting, Standing, and Moving
Yes, your parents were right: sitting up straight, standing tall, and otherwise practicing good posture helps to prevent back pain. Sitting with your foot tucked underneath your body, for example, is not good posture. And maybe your computer screen is too low or high. Maybe you're looking down at your phone a lot and straining your spine.
Posture doesn’t just apply to just sitting or standing, either. How we move during exercise or work movements is extremely important, too. And what about driving? Do you ever notice back, shoulder, or neck pain after a long road trip?
2. Exercise and Weight Loss
Strengthening the body’s core muscles helps take some of the load off your spine, and maintaining a healthy body weight also eases the burden on the skeletal system. Simple, gentle exercises that promote mobility and flexibility are a great place to start. Ease into exercise. If you’re able to, walking is a great way to increase circulation and respiration, loosen muscles, and get the heart pumping oxygen-rich blood to the brain.
3. Break Up Sedentary Time
We live in an increasingly sedentary society, with lots of sitting, hour after hour, at our desks or on our couches or in our cars. Sitting for extended periods of time puts a lot of unhealthy stress on our spines and can exacerbate spinal misalignments (also known as subluxations) that result in back pain. That’s why you should take breaks from sitting every half of an hour. Stand up, stretch, walk around, do the hokey pokey, even! Anything that gets you off your keester and on your feet.
4. Think Ahead: Avoid Accidents
Accidents happen. That’s true, and many accidents are unavoidable. But have you ever had an accident that you know you could have prevented? Maybe you stretched just a little too far on the ladder. Or maybe the pile of books you decided to use as a stepping stool wasn’t as solid as you thought it would be.
Many of our accidents happen from things within our control, so think ahead when you’re doing household chores or workplace projects. Are you making the best choices to protect your back from accidents?
5. Sleep Positions
We spend about a third of our lives asleep, so how our bodies are positioned during those sleeping hours certainly is an important consideration when it comes to back health. Mattresses can aggravate back pain by working against the body’s natural curves and spinal alignment.
Dr. Scott Halida discusses sleep positions in this helpful workshop.
6. Chiropractic Assessment and Adjustment
You probably aren't surprised to see this one make the list for Bandana Chiropractic & Wellness. Yes, we're a little biased, but we have the luxury of years of firsthand experience seeing the positive effects that regular chiropractic treatment has for thousands of people.
If you're ready to see how chiropractic care can help you increase your health, contact us for an assessment.