We all do simple, everyday things that drive chiropractors crazy! Here’s why you should stop doing them and what you can do instead.
1. Improper Lifting
When you lift something the wrong way, you can easily trigger back pain. Before lifting something heavy, follow these tips to avoid strain.
- Position yourself close to the object.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your feet and body pointing in the same direction.
- Bend your knees, keep your back in a neutral spine position and slowly lift the load.
- Keep the load close to your body and pivot with your feet — don’t twist your body while carrying the load.
2. Spending Hours Staring at Your Phone
Did you know that bending your head to look at your phone can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on your spine? It doesn’t matter whether you’re texting, on social media or watching Netflix on your device, staring down for hours takes it’s toll on your neck and back.
Here are a couple of tips to avoid the ache:
- Put your device down and take some time to stretch and give your neck and shoulders a break.
- When using your phone, raise it up closer to eye level to reduce strain.
3. Sitting All Day
Sitting for long periods of time, repetitive movements and awkward work positions may cause you pain and discomfort. Follow these tips to make your work station more comfortable:
- Use a lumbar support pillow to help you maintain proper posture.
- Avoid sitting in one position for longer than 30-50 minutes at a time. Take a quick stretch break or, even better, get up and move around.
4. Sleeping on Your Stomach
Your sleep should always be restful and rejuvenating, but headaches and neck stiffness can be a painful wake-up call. Proper neck support can help you get a better night’s sleep.
- If you sleep on your side, get the proper pillow or neck support you need.
- If you prefer to sleep on your back, you should choose a medium height pillow.
- Chiropractors recommend you avoid sleeping on your stomach, as it can lead to stress and strain on your spine, no matter which pillow you choose.
5. Using Awkward Bags
Knowing how to choose and pack backpacks, shoulder bags and luggage can make your journey much more comfortable and back-friendly. Follow these tips to reduce the strain during your daily commute or summer road trip:
- Choose a lightweight backpack that has two wide adjustable padded shoulder straps.
- When using a shoulder bag, don’t always carry your bag on the same shoulder. Switch sides often so that each shoulder gets a rest.
- Avoid purchasing luggage that is already too heavy when empty. Choose a bag with wheels and an adjustable handle when possible.
Want more advice on how to beat your back, neck and shoulder pain so you can get back to doing the things you love to do? Call or email Dr Elkins to book an assessment.
Information from the Ontario Chiropractic Association