Half of all working Americans admit to experiencing back pain each year – that’s 150 million people! The toughest thing about living with back pain is the way it negatively affects your quality of life. You miss work, can’t get outside to enjoy the weather or can’t even perform simple tasks such as picking up the laundry basket or dancing with your child.
Improving your posture now has a direct impact on whether you experience back pain in the future.
The saying goes “Posture is the window to the spine,” but what does that really mean?
Poor posture usually indicates a spinal misalignment – or vertebra in the spine that are not lined up correctly. Misaligned vertebra can cause all sorts of problems such as nerve interference, pain, joint swelling, muscle tightness, and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.
Poor Posture = Poor Health
Poor posture has become a nationwide epidemic. Our daily habits can have a huge impact on our spine. With our increased time on computers, phones and handheld devices millions of people are experiencing neck pain, headaches and back pain caused by forward head carriage. When the head is pushed forward for long periods of time, it puts pressure on the neck and upper back. This body position often leads to premature arthritis in the neck. Kansas City chiropractors examine your posture and work to correct the spinal misalignment that can lead to poor posture. Through chiropractic adjustments, chiropractors are able to correct and reverse poor posture.
There are a few simple ways you can improve the overall health of your spine:
1. Sit Well
Sitting correctly, especially while using a computer or other electronic device is essential to maintaining a healthy spine. The ergonomics of your workstation should encourage correct posture. Your monitor should be at eye level so that you don’t have to look down to see the screen. Your elbows should be at a 90 degree angle as you type on the keyboard, and your feet should be flat on the floor. If your legs are too short to reach the floor, place a stool at your feet so your knees bend at a 90 degree angle.
2. Drink Lots
Your body needs water to maintain soft tissue elasticity and the fluid in your joints. If you’re dehydrated you have less fluid in the discs between your joints, this loss of space between vertebrae can cause a bulging disc or rupture. It also leaves you more vulnerable to injuries because of the loss of padding between the bones.
3. Get Moving
Whether you lift weights, run or take a daily walk, exercise provides your spine and joints with the movement and stretching necessary to engage in whatever life throws your way. It also helps you maintain a proper weight – putting less pressure on the skeletal system.
4. Stretch Daily
Stretching each day helps to maintain proper range-of-motion for your spine and joints. This ultimately reduces the risk of injury. The extra flexibility allows your body to bend and move as it was designed. Remember to stretch AFTER exercise when the body is still warm, and never stretch so far that you strain the muscle.
5. Lift Correctly
Whether you’re picking up toys in the living room or lifting a heavy box, be aware of your body position. Bend at the knees and lift with your legs. Remember to keep the weight of what you’re carrying as close to your body as possible.
6. Sleep Well
If you are a stomach-sleeper, it’s time to change. Sleeping on your stomach puts stress on your back. The problem is, your ‘learned’ sleep position was set in early childhood. The good news is that you can change it – slowly but surely. Start out the night by sleeping on your side or your back, and if you wake up in the night, switch back to one of those positions. Eventually, your body will learn the new sleep position.
7. Be Aware
Make these tips a regular part of your day and prevent the common causes of spinal misalignment in the future.
The Kansas City chiropractors at Fulk Chiropractic specialize in treating the common symptoms that result from spinal misalignments such as headaches, back pain, sciatica and neck pain. Open 7 Days a Week, they have been providing services to the Kansas City area for over 30 years. To learn more, visit www.fulkchiropractic.com.