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Tips for a healthy spine

A healthy spine is often overlooked an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, approximately 80% of the population suffers from spinal pain at some point. Being overweight or obese, smoke, or had previous episodes of back pain are more likely to experience back pain.

Because so many people suffer from spine pain, it’s important for you to try to keep you spine as healthy as possible. Here are a few tips to keep you spine healthy.

Standing

  • When standing, keep 1 foot slightly in front of the other, with your knees slightly bent. This position helps take the pressure off of your lower back.
  • Keep your head level. Your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward or backwards or to one side.
  • If you have to stand for long time, shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or shift 1 foot to the other.
  • At all times avoid twisting while lifting. Twisting is one of the most dangerous movements for your spine, especially when lifting.
  • If the item is too heavy to lift, pushing it is easier on your back than pulling it. Whenever possible, use your legs not your back or upper body to push the item.
  • Get some help to lift the heavy item.

Sitting

  • Keep your knees slightly lower than your hips, with your head up and back straight.
  • Avoid rolling your shoulders forward (slouching).
  • Try to maintain the natural curve in your lower back.

Reaching and Bending

  • When reaching for something above shoulder level, stand on a step ladder. Straining to reach high objects will hurt your mid back and neck and also cause shoulder problems.
  • Do NOT bend over at the waist pick up items off of the floor. 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 up the item. Or bend at the knees, keep the item close to your body, and lift with your legs not your back.

Sleeping

  • 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 by half.
  • Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees will also reduce the pressure on your back.
  • Never sleep in a position that causes pain. Most often, your body will tell you what position is best.

Technology

  • When texting, bring your arms up in front of your eyes so that you don’t look down at 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 her head.
  • When sitting at a device, make sure your feet are firmly flat on the floor or a foot rest with your knees lower than your hips. Make sure you can use the device without reaching.
  • Never pinch the phone between your ear and your shoulder. Use a headset to reduce shoulder strain.

Chiropractic care is covered by most if not all of health insurance policies.

If you’re having pain in your spine you can reach me at 516-922-1699.

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