Body & Soul with Gail Harris
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Help YourSelf
Tips for a Healthy Back

Lower 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!

The 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.

Chiropractic care attempts to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms -- another way to help your body heal itself.

Program Description
A Balancing Act
Ted Carrick
A Life in Equilibrium
Tell Me More
Help YourSelf

Body & Soul is currently airing Monday-Friday at 7:00pm and 8:30pm on PBS YOU.

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