by Brent Hearn •
It can be tempting to think of chiropractic primarily as a treatment for those who have been injured or are otherwise seriously hurting. If you hear about someone you know going to the chiropractor after being involved in an automobile accident, taking a nasty fall while cleaning the gutters, or suffering a back injury at work, you think, Yeah, that tracks.
It makes sense, really; chiropractic can often offer relief for those who have sustained some type of injury. However, chiropractic isn’t just for those who have sustained trauma; it’s also for anyone who wants to live their best life.
Chiropractic isn’t a magic pill that can make you invincible, but it is a powerful tool for those looking to keep their body healthy and resilient. Getting regular adjustments can complement the preventative and maintenance measures needed to safeguard your health.
We can already hear you: But what kind of measures are you talking about? Read on, friends, to find out!
Carry Your Things Better
You don’t have to be swinging kettlebells or throwing around heavy iron at the gym to cause strain on your back and neck. Whether you’re lugging laundry to the living room, unloading groceries from the trunk, or holding your baby, everyday life offers plenty of opportunities to lift, lug, and carry things. It’s important to shoulder these literal burdens appropriately to avoid injury.
If you’ve tweaked something while lifting, consult your chiropractor immediately. In the meantime, follow these tips to stay healthy and safe. When it comes to your neck and back health, just think of us as your personal trainer. (We promise not to yell or hawk our chalky protein shakes.)
- Secure the weight before lifting.
It’s both easier and safer to carry a load when it’s stable.
- Maintain a broad base while lifting.
Keep your feet shoulder-width—or more—apart. (Again, stability.)
- Keep the weight as close to your body as possible.
- Avoid twisting.
- Lift with your legs, not your back.
You didn’t think we’d skip an opportunity to say it, did you? (At this point, it’s basically the free spot on your back health bingo card.)
Carry Yourself Better
You probably already know it’s important to be intentional about maintaining good posture. You probably also know how easy it is to forget about it.
Whether we’re standing, sitting, or walking, our posture can greatly affect our neck and back health—for better or worse. Whatever it takes to get you to do periodic “posture check-ins” throughout your day, it’s worth it. (Set an alarm on your phone if you need to!) It’s much better to take the time now to maintain good posture than to deal with the consequences of bad posture later.
- When Standing
Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. (Remember that base we talked about earlier?) Stand straight with your shoulders back—without locking your knees—and bear most of your weight on the balls of your feet.
- When Looking at Your Phone
Those little time-suckers don’t just steal your attention; they’ll rob you of good posture if you’re not careful. Don’t look down at your phone; instead, try to bring it to eye level. This slideshow from the Mayo Clinic recommends that you support your arms with armrests, a desk, or a pillow while sitting.
- When Looking at Your Computer
When working, you want to maintain “neutral body positioning,” which basically means keeping your joints naturally aligned comfortably. (Use this Computer Workstations eTool from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to learn more.) Place your screen, mouse, keyboard, and chair in such a way that’s comfortable for sustained periods. But they shouldn’t be that sustained—remember to stand up and move!
To learn more, check out these other posture tips.
Have you made a chiropractic appointment lately? Your chiropractor can help to identify your specific needs and/or weaknesses that may need to be addressed before they become serious.
In addition to the kind of preventative and maintenance tips mentioned above, chiropractic can help you move better and live better. What’s not to love about that?
British Chiropractic Association: Advice for Everyday Living
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Computer Workstations eTool
Mayo Clinic: Good posture tips