Spinal Wellness Tips
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 the key to a healthy spine. Keep your chin up and your shoulders back. Keep both feet about shoulder-width apart. YOu may also stagger your feet, one foot in front of the other, to help minimize stress on your spine.
Working at a Desk
Make sure that you are getting up every 30 minutes to stretch, even if you just walk around for a few minutes. Next, be sure you are seated correctly. Make sure you have a chair that offers 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 at eye-level so you are not looking down at it.
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.
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.
Talking On The Telephone
If you're forced to use the telephone for a long period of time, a speaker or a headset is a must. Do not cradle the phone between your neck and your shoulder as this could cause you to damage the muscles or vertebrae in that area.
Resting or Sleeping
Straining your neck or back while you're sleeping is a very common occurrence. We often fall asleep in positions where we are not supported properly, or we fall asleep with our necks at an odd angle. Make sure your pillow supports your neck and head so that it lays neutral with the rest of your spine. Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended as it puts stress on your neck and your back.