For a healthy spine, keep these tips in mind!
If you know you will be standing for an extended period, make sure that you wear supportive shoes and make sure you know how to keep good posture. Good posture is key to a healthy spine. Keep your head raised and your shoulders back. Keep both feet about shoulder-width apart. Looking at a cell phone or iPad while standing is not good posture.
Working at a Desk
Find a reason every 30 minutes or so to get up to walk or stretch, even if you just walk around for a few minutes. Next, be sure you are seated correctly. Your chair should have good lower back support. You also want your feet flat on the floor with your knees at a 90 degree angle. If you need a stool under your feet to do this, bring one to work. Your computer screen should be directly in front of you and at eye level so you are not looking down at it. When typing on the keyboard, check to see that your forearm is parallel to the floor.
If you do phone work at your desk, hold the phone to your ear with your hand. Don't cradle the phone between your cheek and shoulder. Although this gives you hands-free capability, it is the cause of many neck and shoulder problems.
Lifting objects is one of the most common ways to injure yourself. Start by squatting down to the object with one foot slightly in front of the other. Keep your back straight, only bending at the knees and hips. Keep your head looking forward and lift the object by straightening your legs, still keeping your back straight. Hold the object close to your body. Never twist while picking something up. Only turn once you are fully upright. Keep the same idea in mind when you are putting the object back down. If an object is heavy or has an awkward shape, ask for help to lift and carry.
Warming Up for Physical Activity
If you know that you are going to be working or playing for a while, make sure that you are adequately warmed up. Even when only performing light activities, like gardening or pushing your child on a bike, it's easy to pull something if you don’t prepare your body. "Warm" muscles are pliable and flexible muscles. Tight and tense muscles can easily become strained or injured, causing pain and discomfort. Warming up could mean stretching, breathing, or doing simple movements to get your muscles primed for your activity.
Believe it or not, sleeping can sometimes be the cause of physical problems like pain, achiness, and stiffness. It is usually unwise to fall asleep in a sitting position because your body and head will slump forward or to either side, distorting your spine and posture, and causing stiffness and tightness. In bed, you should have an appropriate pillow, one that is not too flat or too high and putting your neck in an awkward position.
I have a simple rule of thumb about beds. If your bed is 7 years old, you should consider changing it in the next couple of years because, with age, your bed becomes less and less capable of supporting your body during sleep. After 10 years, you should change your bed. If you want to have restful sleep and wake refreshed, a good firm mattress will help.
What to do about PERSISTENT OR RECURRING PAIN
Pain is your body's alarm system to warn you about a problem that it cannot fix. Our bodies are incredible self-correcting mechanisms. It tries to maintain good health despite everything we put it through. When your body can't make a correction by itself, it calls your attention to the site of pain, letting you know that a problem has occurred. Ignoring this alarm could result in a worsening of the problem or injury and damage in the future. It would be wise to check with an expert on pain-producing physical problems. Start with a consultation with a chiropractor for a natural and holistic approach to resolving your problem. Use drugs and medications as a last resort.