Most people experience back pain or neck pain at some point. This is NOT normal! Symptoms are a warning sign that something is wrong. Unfortunately many people ignore these signs and wait too long to correct the underlying cause.
As a chiropractor in Freehold, NJ, I advise all my patients on some simple basic steps to help prevent pain and maintain a healthy spine, especially after we do corrective chiropractic work to get the patient out of the pain they had been experiencing.
Here are my top 10 Tips to help prevent Back and Neck Pain:
9) Never cradle the phone between your neck and shoulder: Holding the phone in this position misaligns the neck and upper back, causing muscle spasms and strain.
8) Maintain good posture: As mom always says.. sit up or stand up straight. Posture is the window to the spine and for chiropractors that shows us the structure of the spine and nervous system. Your nervous system controls all functions of the body and will determine your overall health and function.
7) Stretch your spine before and after sports or exercise! When you exert yourself, you are tightening muscles as they contract. Walking is not stretching! It is so important to do proper stretching and using correct form.
6) Don’t overload your backpack, shoulder bag/purse, briefcase, etc. Carrying these types of bags on one shoulder will alter your posture and spinal alignment. Students should never carry a backpack with more than 10% of their body weight loaded in it.
5) Stretch your legs and back after each hour of sitting. The back muscles and hamstrings tighten up while you sit in a chair. This can lead to back injuries if you don’t stretch these muscles and you either make a quick movement or try to lift something.
4) Sleep on your back or side, NOT on your stomach: Think of how you are positioned if you are laying on your stomach. You are face down and can’t breath so you have to have your head turned to one side or another. This also causes your back to arch into extension. Sleeping for hours at a time like this causes sprains and strains, pressure on the discs and joints, and the vertebra to misalign. If you sleep on your side, make sure you have a pillow between your knees which should be slightly bent and your regular pillow should support your neck and head to be level. If your pillow is too soft, your head will tilt down to the mattress or the opposite can happen if the pillow is too big pushing the head upward away from the mattress.
3) Follow a healthy diet: Nutrition is so important to our health. It helps the the body heal and recuperate. Your body is a finely tuned machine. Think of your body like a high performance automobile and what would happen if you put low grade fuel into it? The car would not have optimal fuel efficiency, the car would break down more often, and the costs to maintain it would skyrocket. Your body needs the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats to be healthy. Nutrition also includes drinking the proper amount of water. You should drink half your body weight in ounces of water. (Eg. if you weight 150lbs you need to drink 75 ounces of water per day). Think of your body like a sponge: if you don’t put water on it and leave it on the counter, it will get hard and brittle, then when you bend it or twist it the sponge tears more easily and breaks. Your muscles, tendons, ligaments and organs are all like this. .if they get dehydrated they will tear more easily making you more prone to injury and pain. Your discs between the vertebra also need the proper amount of fluid, as well as your heart, lungs, digestion, etc. Too many people don’t drink water and think juices, soda and coffee count, but in actuality they can cause more dehydration. Caffeine removes water from the body and some studies have shown that just one cup of coffee pulls out up to 4 to 8 glasses of water from the body.
2) Exercise Regularly: It is so important to keep the body moving. Remember the phrase: “Use it or lose it!“ If you are going to exercise make sure you use proper form and technique. I am in the gym all the time and see people doing exercises the wrong way and they will eventually injure themselves. It’s important to know when to stop exercising if you do have pain. I usually advise my patients if it hurts while doing an exercise, stop immediately and have your chiropractor check you out as soon as possible. If you don’t have the experience or background of working out, make sure you hire a personal trainer. I highly recommend a personal trainer in the Freehold, NJ area, Anthony LaPorta, Jr and you can view his website by clicking here: Over 50 Fit.
1) The most important thing of all is to have your spine checked regularly! Chiropractors are the only health professionals to detect and correct spinal subluxations. These misalignments will not only eventually cause pain, but result in decreased function and health problems. Everybody of all ages has a spine and nervous system that is important to be maintained for optimal health and wellness. Think of how many times your children fell when they were learning to walk or ride a bike, trauma from playing sports, sitting at desks in school for hours on end, carrying the heavy books. Then as you get older you might’ve had a fender bender (even a 5MPH bumper hit can cause whiplash and other damage), carrying pocketbooks, briefcases, slouching, playing sports/recreation, just simply walking and missing a step or curb, the list goes on and on. As we age, pain and aches are not normal as many medical doctors would make it out to be. That would be like saying to you if you don’t brush your teeth and maintain them, they will decay as part of again. Chiropractic can help you prevent back pain, neck pain and live a healthy, happy lifestyle without drugs and surgery!
If you currently have back pain or neck pain, or you would simply like to prevent future problems and be healthy without drugs and surgery so you can enjoy a normal active lifestyle, check out our website: www.chiropractorfreehold.com Contact us at 732-780-0044 for a consultation.