Say “Good-bye” to your Back and Neck Pain!
Are you one of those sitting a lot, not taking stretching breaks, constantly wearing a heavy backpack, or not exercising much? If yes, you may have noticed that back or neck pain has become a frequent guest. Even though you might be ignoring it, your body is actually trying to tell you something. It is time for you to start thinking about your posture when you sit, stand, sleep, and carry heavy backpacks or bags that might be weighing more than is healthy for your spine.
The danger is that if you keep ignoring the pain in your back and neck, your muscles will get strained or pulled and will stop supporting your spine correctly. Guess what- if your spine is not supported correctly, your vertebrae can get misaligned, nerves between the vertebrae can become pinched, and your brain will not be able to communicate with the body organs (how it usually does through the nervous system). This is not the news you want to hear about your spine and organs, right?
So how can you avoid the misalignment in your spine and say good-bye to the pain? There are a couple of good tips to consider:
- Exercise! Do it on a regular basis, not just weekends or when you have time. Exercise every day! Build up those back and neck muscles to help support the vertebrae and spinal ligaments.
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight. The less weight you are carrying around, the less stress you are putting on your back and neck joints and the less pain you will feel.
- Rest! Get a good night’s sleep every night, your muscles will be rejuvenated and ready for the next day.
- Relax! Take time to distress and become as stress free as possible; this will help those “knots” in your back.
- Keep good posture habits! Make sure that your back is straight, shoulders are squared, chin is up, chest is out, and stomach is in. If you can draw a straight line from your earlobe through your shoulder, hip, knee, to the middle of your ankle—–you’ve got it! To learn more about good posture, go to http://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Your-Posture
- When driving for long periods of time or sitting for extended hours, take stretch breaks, stand up and walk around at least once an hour.
- Avoid tucking the phone between your ear and shoulder and do not sleep on your stomach. This can cause stress and extra pressure on your cervical vertebrae and pinch nerves.
- Get lots of vitamin D and calcium. Your spine is made of bone so make sure you keep them strong!
- Lift with your knees bent, not from your back.
- Choose a well-padded backpack; wear it with both straps that are properly adjusted. It should weigh between 5-10 percent of your body weight- so keep excess items out of your bag!