In the past couple of years, I've searched for solutions and tips for back health because of the physical activities I participate in both personally and professionally. Here are a few useful tips and solutions I would like to pass on:
1. Seek a "proactive chiropractor" for regular adjustments or be specific in what you want in terms of the quality of adjustments. Over the past couple of years, I've had some interesting experiences with chiropractors
- One group of chiropractors was very proactive about the health of the back as they made biannual progress evaluations, adjusted the full spine, and had a clear plan of direction for progress. However, the same group didn't seem to have any concern about the cost of the services and left the impression that they expected their patients to have enough money to pay for high costs without using insurance.
- Another chiropractor had more reasonable costs but adjusted the upper spine and not the lower spine. When asked to adjust the lower, the first reply was, "Why is there something wrong with it?" The point of chiropractic is to remove "subluxations" which interfere with overall health. A subluxation is a misalignment of the vertebrae. This can happen on any level of the spine throughout someone's lifetime.
2. The Basic Three of Health Again. What I call "The basic three of health" are diet, exercise, and sleep and apply and relate to all health concerns in our lives. A healthy diet assists the body by giving it the nutrients it needs to function well, grow, and recover. Exercise keeps the body functioning at its peak capacity if done correctly. Sleep aids in daily recovery and supports our immune system in the process.
3. The 1,2,3's of body mechanics for day by day activities.
- First of all, what is "good posture?" Generally speaking, good posture is keeping your back straight, head centered and chin up, shoulders over hips. There are always exceptions in regard to different activities and no one practices this perfectly. But slumping your back, keeping your head down, or misaligning shoulders for extended periods of time can put undue stress on your back and lead to subluxations.
- Second, you have probably heard this, but it is worth repeating: lift with your legs instead of just your back. Your legs are strong muscles in the body, and utilizing them is only smart. Also, the more misaligned your back is when lifting, the more strain you could put on it.
- Keeping a load close to your body is also known to lessen the stress on your back muscles.
- It's generally a good idea to keep the balance point of your body centered more times than not. Again, this is not a perfect science which is one of the many reasons we get regular adjustments from chiropractors. But just practicing more conscious awareness of all these body mechanics tips can help reduce back pain, strain, and subluxations.
- When sleeping in bed, try to sleep on your back and make use of a pillow under your knees to support the spine. Sleeping on your back is the best way to reduce back problems while resting and a pillow under the knees helps keep that natural curve in our lower back.
- Consider wearing a back brace and/or belt if you overuse your back when working or working out. Using a weight lifting belt is nothing new for bodybuilders or weight lifters to prevent hernias. But many times workers overlook the cumulative effect long hours of manual labor at work can have on the back when it is overused and for many, many years.
Three general tips for keeping your back healthy are finding a chiropractor that is or can learn to be proactive and has reasonable service fees, remembering and generally practicing the "basic three" of health, and being conscious of the 1,2,3's of body mechanics throughout the day.
Have you found a proactive chiropractor with reasonable fees and do you visit consistently? Do you practice the basic three of general health and the 1,2,3's of good body mechanics? What is your plan for improvement in relation to solutions for your back health?