5 Things Your Chiropractor Wants You to Stop Doing
Let’s be honest, we all do things that probably aren’t the best for our health. With that said, there are always things we can do to improve our health and reduce ailments.
Your chiropractor spends their days with people suffering from a variety of musculoskeletal aches and pains, and from this they have a list of things that are causing their patients more harm than good.
If you are interested in doing your best to avoid aches and pains, both now and in the future, here are 5 things that your chiropractor really wants you to stop doing.
1. Sitting All Day
Sitting for long periods of time is a very common cause of pain and discomfort. Patients who sit all day for work, or otherwise, often present to their chiropractor with low back pain and/or headaches.
While we can’t just quit our desk jobs, there are a few things you can do to make your workstation more comfortable and to minimize any ailments.
- Use a POSTUREMEDIC which you can purchase at the clinic and/or a good lumbar support pillow to help you maintain proper posture.
- Avoid sitting in one position for longer than 30-60 minutes. Take a stretch break or get up and move around. Another great option is to have a sit/stand desk and alternate working sitting and standing.
- While sitting, keep your feet flat on the floor. This improves blood circulation and keeps your pelvis balanced in addition to minimizing back strain.
- Keep your computer screen at eye level. Your gaze should be aimed at the center of your computer screen.
- If you can, consider investing in an ergonomic desk chair. It promotes proper sitting posture at your desk and is specially designed to help you sit comfortably for an extended period of time.
2. Spend Hours Staring Down At Your Phone
The term ‘Text Neck’ was coined by an American chiropractor, and refers to the neck pain and damage caused by looking down at an electronic device too frequently and for too long.
This condition is a result of overstretching of the muscles behind the neck and shortening of the muscles in the front.
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 on social media, watching a show on your device or texting, staring down at our devices for hours takes a toll on our neck and back.
Follow these chiropractor tips to avoid the ache:
- Put the device down and take time to stretch and give your neck and shoulders a break.
- While using your device, be sure to raise it up closer to eye level to reduce strain.
- If you’re a parent, it is very important to control your kids’ screen time. Their developing spines need a break from looking down all the time. We can’t emphasize enough how important this is! Setting healthy habits young will set them up for success later on in life.
3. Improper Lifting
Improper lifting is extremely harmful to our back because it puts an extreme amount of tension on our vertebra, discs, and muscles that support our spine. A lifetime of pain can be caused by one wrong move.
It is always smart to have your chiropractor evaluate your posture and abilities. You should also consider the following before lifting or moving heavy items:
Is your body ready for the motion?
How heavy/awkward is the load?
Where am I going with the load?
Ensuring your body is ready, having someone help if needed, and clearing the path ahead are very important.
The last and most important part is properly lifting the load.
Remember the following to minimize any risk of injury:
- Position yourself close to the object.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your feet and body pointing in the same direction.
- Try to keep your elbows and arms close to your body.
- Bend your knees, keep your back in a neutral spine position, by tightening the stomach muscles, 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.
4. Sleeping On Your Stomach
Ask a chiropractor and they will agree, sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for your spine. When you do, it makes your spine bend in an unnatural way.
Chiropractors recommend that you avoid sleeping on your stomach. It can lead to strain and stress on your spine, no matter which pillow you choose.
If you are a stomach sleeper, here are some tips that can help you change your sleeping position:
- Use a cervical pillow – it is designed to help you maintain back sleeping and the design also makes it nearly impossible to sleep on your stomach.
- You can also explore using a knee or full body pillows.
Sleeping on your back is one of the best resting positions for your chiropractic health, but it can be a difficult habit to start. It is crucial to keep your spine in a neutral position, and sleeping on your back regularly truly is the best way to achieve this.
The best way to sleep on your back is to place a pillow under the knees, or a rolled towel under the lower back, to maintain the spine’s general curve.
Back sleeping is really one of the best postures when it comes to your chiropractic health, and both Dr. Heather and Dr. Emily encourages everyone to try it!
5. Being Reactive vs Proactive
The main difference between being proactive and reactive is that proactive people will take the initiative to make things happen, or in terms of health, do their best to prevent things from happening, while reactive people will wait for things to happen before taking action.
Proactive chiropractic care takes on a more holistic and preventive approach. Focusing on optimizing your body’s function, improving your overall well-being, and preventing any future problems from occurring.
A chiropractor who is proactive emphasizes the importance of having regular check-ups and ongoing maintenance care, even when there are no specific symptoms present.
Your chiropractor works to identify and address any potential issues before they manifest as pain or discomfort. This may include identifying any postural imbalances, assessing your movement patterns, and developing personalized treatment plans for you to correct any underlying dysfunctions.
Some treatment methods your chiropractor may include are corrective exercises, lifestyle recommendations, spinal adjustments, nutritional guidance, and other procedures aimed at optimizing the body’s function.
Addressing the root causes of potential problems and being proactive vs reactive will support your long-term health and well-being.
And as I say, “it’s not about how you feel, it’s about how you function!”
Yours in Health,
Bkin, DC, Acupuncture Provider