The way you move in daily activities can make a big difference in the health of your spine. In addition to regular visits to a chiropractor, following these tips will allow you to live a more comfortable life.
- Sit in a chair or on a couch that offers firm support, not saggy cushions. Do your best to sit up straight and avoid slouching.
- Your feet should be flat on the floor or on a footstool so your knees are slightly higher than your hips. Crossing your legs can aggravate back pain and interfere with circulation.
Working at a Desk
- Make time to get up and stretch or take a short walk every hour.
- Sit with your knees at a 90-120-degree angle. An angled footrest may help you feel more comfortable.
- Choose a chair that tilts back so you can rest while you’re reading what is on your computer screen.
- Elevate your computer screen so you’re looking straight ahead to avoid neck fatigue.
- When you have to stand in one place for a long time, put one foot on a short stool to take pressure off of your spine.
- Don’t wear high heels if you stand a lot. These can be really hard on your back.
- Always bend at your knees, especially when lifting something heavy like a child.
- When lifting, plant your feet about 12-18 inches apart, kneel or squat in front of the object, and lift as you straighten up. Use your thigh and gluteal muscles instead of your back.
- Try using electric rather than gas hand-held yard equipment since they are much lighter.
- When vacuuming, put all your weight on one foot, then step forward and back with the other foot as you push the vacuum. Tighten your core when you have to twist your waist.
- Choose a fairly firm mattress. Avoid sleeping on a soft mattress or sofa, or in a recliner.
- Sleep on your side with your knees bent and a pillow between your knees, or sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees.
- Use one pillow that supports your head so your neck and vertebrae are level with the rest of your spine as you sleep.
- Sleeping on two pillows puts strain on your neck.
- Get plenty of sleep every night and even a nap during the day if you can. When your body gets enough rest, it heals faster from things that aggravate it throughout the day.
- Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. You will notice a big boost in energy when you get the nutrients you need.
- Avoid processed and fast food. These foods can cause you to feel sluggish and can drag your immune system down.
- Pack your lunch at home so you can be sure not to be tempted by unhealthy choices at work.