It’s the new year, which means people are making all sorts of New Year’s resolutions they hope to follow through the next 12 months. Regardless of whether your main resolution is to finally climb that 14er or to go to the gym three times a week, we have a resolution that everyone should choose: taking care of your back!
Many people struggle with back pain each and every day. This can cause them to miss out on social activities with family, friends, and even work. As it turns out, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, lower back pain is the number one cause of job-related disability! Taking care of your neck and spine now can save you money and lower your chances of injury in the future. Here are a few steps you can take to protect your neck and back from injury.
Neck and back resolutions:
- Lift properly. Bending at the back and picking up a heavy object does not do your back any favors. In order to lift an item properly, get as close to it as possible. Use your legs and knees to pull the item up, rather than your back. Keep your head down, back straight, and try to get your arms at the same height as the item you are lifting. If you feel like it may be too heavy for you to safely lift on your own, get help!
- Sleep properly. Not only is getting the right amount of sleep essential for your health, but so is sleeping the correct way. Do your best to sleep on your side; sleeping on your stomach can add unneeded pressure to the spine while sleeping on your back can lead to sleep apnea problems. Also, make sure your mattress is in good shape and that you have a supportive pillow.
- Stretch. If you spend most of your day sitting down, your back and neck may lose some flexibility. Don’t forget to stretch them each day in order to keep your joints moving properly. Consistent stretching can help reduce the likelihood of getting injured. Start your day with some gentle stretches to invigorate you all day long!
- Work out. If you are physically fit, your chances of a back injury are much lower. Whether you decide to lift weights, run, swim, dance, or whatever, staying active keeps your spine flexible and strong. The best exercises are the ones that combine stretching, cardio, and strength.
- Keep a healthy weight. If you’re one of the new year’s resolution-ers who is aiming to lose weight, that’s great news! A healthy weight is one of the most important parts of keeping your neck and back in good shape. There will be less stress on your muscles and ligaments.
- Pay attention to office ergonomics. The way you work can cause a lot of pressure on your both your upper and your lower back. Make sure you are sitting up straight, keeping your knees at ninety degrees, and getting up frequently for walks. Stretching your body regularly can help prevent some of the pressure you may be feeling by sitting all day long.
Your Littleton Chiropractor
We hope you have a happy and healthy new year! Come see us at Arne Wellness Center today for a chiropractic adjustment!