Tips for a Healthy Back
back pain is the most common health complaint experienced by Americans
today. Our chronic aches cost the economy 50 billion dollars in lost
wages last year. Many of our discomforts are caused by bad habits learned
early on. If you want to break a habit, the first thing to do is to
become aware -- you can't change what you don't know about!
American Chiropractic Association offers some tips to relieve that aching
back, shoulder or headache. They believe our pains can be attributed
to a misaligned vertebra, or subluxation, which puts pressure
on nerves or blood vessels. Prevention is the best cure, so start by
becoming aware of the daily stresses you place on your spine.
- High-heels top
the list of most chiropractor's "Don'ts!" Your skeletal system is
like a mobile hanging in equilibrium. Wearing heels unnaturally forces
the normal curve of the back, and causes the pelvis to tip forward.
The whole system tries to compensate for this change, and the result
is sore muscles and misalignment.
- Heavy purses
and briefcases produce the same result when your shoulders and upper
back torque unnaturally to compensate for the extra weight, causing
your neck and back to spasm. Don't carry more than five to ten percent
of your body weight. A good compromise is a backpack with padded shoulder
straps -- but remember, don't sling it over just one shoulder -- wear
it as designed, and adhere to the ten percent rule.
- Take your wallet
out of your back pocket if you are sitting at a desk or driving for
long periods of time.
- If you sit at
a desk or terminal, make sure to stretch every 30 minutes or so. Do
a few easy head rolls, and take a walk to the water cooler for a drink.
8-10 glasses of water a day will help prevent dehydration, which can
lead to headaches.
If you do decide
to visit a chiropractor for help, your treatment may include:
- Spinal manipulation
or adjustment to help alleviate the stress on your system.
- Advice on nutrition,
diet, or vitamin supplements.
- Advice on posture,
exercise and relaxation techniques.
attempts to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms -- another
way to help your body heal itself.
A Balancing Act
A Life in Equilibrium
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