If you have back trouble, you know the profound impact your spine has on your overall health. Back pain is a widespread ailment, with 80 percent of Americans reporting spinal discomfort at some point. To help prevent injury and ensure you enjoy a pain-free way of life, follow these simple tips for a healthy spine.
Standing for long periods can put pressure on your lower back. To relieve this pressure, stand with one foot slightly in front of the other, and keep your knees bent. Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or from one foot to the other. Hold your head level so your earlobes align with your shoulders. Keep your abs engaged to provide additional support to your spine.
Bending, Lifting & Reaching
When lifting a heavy object off the floor, don’t bend at the waist. Instead, bend at the knees and lower yourself down. Once you have the item firmly in your grasp, straighten your knees and stand up. Keep the object close to your body to reduce strain.
As you move the item to its new location, avoid twisting your spine. Instead, move your feet to face the proper direction. If something is too heavy for you to lift, don’t strain yourself. Wait until someone else can help you.
When attempting to grab something off a high shelf, extend your reach by standing on a sturdy stool or step ladder. If possible, hand the object to someone standing on the ground rather than attempting to step down with something heavy in your arms.
Choose a chair that’s tall enough to keep your knees slightly lower than your hips. Hold your head level, pull your shoulders back and keep your spine straight. For added support, place a lumber pillow behind your lower back. Avoid crossing your legs or slouching.
Use a pillow that supports your neck while sleeping in your preferred position. If you often wake up with a crick in your neck, it’s time to shop for a new pillow.
Never sleep in a position that causes discomfort. Your body will tell you which position is best for you. If you prefer to sleep on your back, place a pillow below your knees to cut the pressure on your spine in half. If you’re a side-sleeper, put a pillow between your knees to keep them aligned with your hips.
If you work at a computer, arrange your setup so the monitor is at eye level and your feet sit firmly on the floor. If you often work on a laptop without a table, invest in a padded lap desk that makes typing and looking at the screen more comfortable.
When texting, raise your phone to eye level so you don’t have to look down. When talking on the phone, never cradle the device between your ear and shoulder. For hands-free conversations, use a headset.
If you’re experiencing spinal trouble, schedule a free consultation at Effective Integrative Healthcare today.