Low back pain is one of the most common complaints for patients of all ages.  Numerous research articles study how posture or more specifically poor posture increases a persons risk of developing pain. A study by Mork P, Westgaard in Clin Biomech 2009;24:169-7 studied back posture and muscle activity in computer workers to determine if sitting at work is assoc with exacerbation of low back pain (LBP). They concluded that prolonged sitting is assoc with more LBP than if the work situation allowed for more variation in a workers posture.  Patients need to understand that when a person sits they tend to flex forward and their low back pushes or caves back into the chair.  This sustained stretch of their low back ligaments leads to their low back support muscles being inhibited or deactivated.

So what happens to you?  when you are at work or home sitting for long periods the muscles that help support your low back go off line.  Then when you get up and go to lift something, bend to reach for something you have an increased risk to strain your back because these muscles are not available yet to do their job.  Too many times a patient has said all I did was bend to lift up my bag, or pick up a childs toy ect. and my back spasmed.

So what should you do? Get up at least each hour, activate you low back muscles, vary your posture.  If you have been sitting for over 30 minutes give your self at least 10 minutes of moving around before bending past 65 degrees at the waist.  Better yet don’t bend right away, instead go down on one knee when going to lift something.  When you go to the gym warm up before bending and lifting.

A consistent recommendation is the research is use a lumbar support to stop your low back from caving back into the chair.  A simple low back pillow can improve your posture and decrease your chances of developing low back pain.  When sitting have your pelvis higher than your knees.  this helps you maintain your lumbar lordosis (forward curve) and reduce back muscle activity and fatigue.

Dont wait to be in pain before you remember to stretch.

Texting puts the head 4.5 inches in front of the shoulders. Teens average 11,000 text messages per month or 30 hours of use.  With these statistics it is no wonder why children at a younger and younger age are seeking relief from adult type pain.

In accordance with helping you take charge of your health, Dr. Dickinson offers the following tips to help you achieve health every day:

1.  Sit up straight

It is critical that you develop the habit of good posture. Proper posture allows the musculature pulling on the spine to do so in a balanced way. When your muscles work in this manner, the spine will feel less restricted.

2.  Eat your fruits and vegetables

Nutrients are the fuel that helps your body run efficiently. When the body is forced to operate on low quality fuel, it is operates less efficiently. This makes you susceptible to infection, it makes you tired and it increases your likelihood of acquiring disease. Proper nutrition, i.e. a balance of carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals and water, is the best insurance policy you can have for maintaining good health.

3.  Turn off the TV

Get up and move! Adding additional movement to your daily routine will promote proper joint and muscle function. Adding a regular exercise routine to your day will build stronger muscles and will facilitate greater range of motion in your joints, as well as improved health. The only way to effectively balance caloric intake is to offset it with adequate exercise.

4.  Don’t pick that up

Don’t lift anything that is too heavy for you. If you are lifting heavy objects, make sure that you remember to ‘lift with your legs, and not with your back’. If you carry a backpack or purse everyday, make sure that it is not too heavy. Choose styles which distribute the weight evenly rather than concentrating it all on one shoulder. The key is to minimize the workload on your back.

5.  Go to sleep

At least 8 hours of every day should be devoted to sleep. During sleep, the body focuses its energy on restoring and healing the body. When you deprive yourself of proper rest, the body becomes stressed and begins to breakdown. When you are sleeping, remember the importance of proper posture; don’t just sleep on your stomach (which can strain muscles in your neck and back), practice sleeping on your back and sides as well.

As a patient of Dickinson Chiropractic Center you will receive specific wellness tips like these. Good health is achievable – let us help you!

What is it?
Chiropractic care focuses on properly aligning the body’s structures—primarily the spine—to allow for natural, surgery-free healing. A chiropractor’s goal is not to give patients drugs so they don’t feel pain, but to discover the source of the pain and correct the problem.

Why chiropractic?
The nervous system controls all of the body’s functions, and depends on the vertebrae in your spine to protect it. When your vertebrae are out of line, they can prohibit optimal operation of the nervous system, which can lead to various physical problems.

Is it safe?
Chiropractic treatments are incredibly safe—actually, they’re one of the safest kinds of medical care available. And your chiropractor has studied extensively to fully understand the body’s systems. The chiropractic training program is comparable to the program of study for medical doctors. According to the American Chiropractic Association, more than 30 million people visited doctors of chiropractic last year for a variety of conditions, and more and more medical doctors are referring their patients to doctors of chiropractic.

What problems can it address?
In addition to preventative and wellness care, chiropractic can be used to treat allergies, headaches, lower back pain, fibromyalgia, neck and shoulder pain, numbness, leg pain, scoliosis, and other health issues.

For more information and/or to schedule an appointment call 508 528 2277.