I would guess up to 90% of the conditions we see in our office are overuse injuries. That means there is no specific event that causes their pain, rather the stress applied to their body gradually overtime created the injury! Take note of the following suggestions to make a world of difference in terms of your spine, overall heath, and posture!
Stop Ignoring your Pain! Ignoring your pain doesn't make it go away. Sure, your body can heal on its own but only to an extent. If there is a subluxation or misalignment within the spine your body's ability to adapt to that stress diminishes. Chiropractic care is specifically designed to make you heal better! So, don't ignore pain as it can significantly reduce healing time and cause more damage.
Stop Sitting for so long! Set a timer on your phone, take a phone meeting while on a walk, or get a standing desk. Whatever it is, just keep moving. Sitting is by far the most compressive position when it comes to your intervertebral discs (shock absorbers of the spine). Sitting for longer than 1 hour at a time significantly dehydrates and compresses the joints in your spine. Not to mention it will lead to over contracted hip flexors and tight hamstrings that prevent optimal function.
Stop Carrying too much! We all know someone who picked up a pencil off the ground and pulled their back out. It doesn't take a lot to cause a low back injury because its not necessarily the weight of the load but rather the mechanical stress of the movement. When you carry too much or lift something heavy, the first thing to go is your form. When you are not lifting properly, not matter how heavy the object is, your spine is too vulnerable to injury.
Stop exercising ineffectively! There are many ways to get a workout in. Whether it is a long walk, a workout class, or lifting weights get that core tight and posture strong! Common mistakes are using momentum instead of your muscles, lifting with your back instead of your legs, and reaching overhead without stabilizing the shoulder. Also, heavy lifting is known to cause disc injuries but only when performed incorrectly and this can have lasting effects on your spinal health and wellness. Getting back to basics is always my recommendation. A Yoga class or Pilates class is a perfect way to connect with core again, activate smaller muscles groups, and work on your posture. This will help prepare you for more extensive exercise like running and lifting.
Stop Slouching in your Car! This is a very common one that you will probably see next time you are on the road. Look that for that person who has their seat too far back and are rounding their shoulders up towards their ears. You will spot them at a red light rubbing their neck. When you are driving, even short distances, make sure you take advantage of the headrests. Rest your head on it. Give your neck a break. Bring your seat up to meet you, press your shoulders back and down against the seat and bring your hands up to 10 and 2. Feel the stress just disappear when you are driving.
Stop Sleeping Wrong! Do you sleep mostly on your stomach? Does your dog take up all the room in the bed and leave you with a little corner? You might be surprised about how often I hear this! Sleeping position can make or break your posture! Ideally, sleep on your left side with a firm yet comfortable pillow and a small pillow between your knees. This position allows the natural curves in your spine to be preserved while you sleep, keeps the hips in optimal alignment, and positions your stomach and arteries in the optimal position.
Stop eating junk food and not drinking enough water! Water is the key to life. It's everything. Give your body the water it needs to function properly and to heal. It is said that drinking half your body weight in oz. is sufficient. Also, when you eat foods that are high in added sugar, high in trans fats, and high in chemicals it slows down your metabolism, increased your systemic inflammation, and clogs up your arteries! Yuck! Focus on eating a whole food, plant based, balanced meal including p
BONUS: If you are a PARENT, this is for you! Let's face it, having kids is amazing in so many ways but...its kind of rough on your back! Whether it's jumping out of bed in the middle of the night or getting them in and our of their car seat for the 100th time... being a parent is more than just last of sleep! But here's one thing you can do to help that lower back pain. Stop bathing your kids while leaning forward! Put one foot out and kneel on the other knee. Create a little tripod with your your knee and both feet to distribute the weight more evenly. This helps you to stop leaning forward and putting so much strain on the low back muscles by engaging the core a bit more! Try it out!
From the desk of Dr. Lisette Miller Kondrad. Dr. Miller is a licensed Chiropractic Physician and Board Certified Acupuncture Provider who has been in clinical practice for 7 years. She has helped hundreds of patients via Chiropractic care and Acupuncture. Click here to contact Clark Road Chiropractic Center with any questions or to schedule your appointment!