You do not have to be a great mathematician like our favorite characters in The Big Bang Theory to view our world with the simple applications such as the laws of mathematics and physics. We should understand that every action has a reaction and our world prefers to be balanced. We solve life’s equations for the answer that balances the problem presented.
With this logic are we able to apply it to our health? The answer is an absolute yes!
When we are solving for a solution, we first look at the factors. One of the essential factors when leading a healthy lifestyle is a healthy spine. Unfortunately many people overlook the benefits of a healthy spine and do not factor in that people who suffer from back pain are not just in pain but less healthy than those who do not suffer from back pain.
Understanding The Statistics
Low back pain is one of the most common physical ailments with over 80 percent of people in the United States reporting that they have been bothered by this discomfort at some point in their life. For some 50 percent of these people, the pain has severely limited their activities, caused sleep loss, interfered with their sex life and the ability to control their weight.
Now calculate into this equation the quality of life. People suffering from long-term back pain often need to take off work causing significant financial losses. Back pain is not only physically debilitating but emotionally exhausting which can often lead to depression and other psychological problems associated with the healing process for chronic pain.
Solving For Health
It is imperative to take good care of your spine and keep it as healthy as possible. By just adding these beneficial postures and health lifestyle tips as recommended by the American Chiropractic Association, you can help to keep your spine in good shape.
Healthy Diet and Exercise
People who are overweight or obese tend to suffer more back pain as the extra weight they carry can put unwanted pressure on the muscles, ligaments and tendons in their back.
A healthy diet and regular exercise is the most efficient and effective way to reduce your weight.
You should always consult with your Doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
Proper Angle For Standing
When you are standing, try to keep one foot slightly in front of the other, and bend your knees slightly. This position can help to relieve the pressure on your low back.
Try to avoid bending at the waist for prolonged periods of time. Your lower back muscles can become deconditioned in this position, which often leads to pain.
Proper Lifting Technique
Whenever you are lifting an object, try to avoid twisting. One of the most dangerous movements for your spine is twisting, especially while lifting.
If the item you are lifting is too heavy, pushing it is easier on your back than pulling it. Avoid using your back and upper body when pushing the object, try to use your legs.
If you need to lift a heavy item, get somebody to help you.
Keep your knees slightly higher than your hips, with your head up and back straight.
Avoid rolling your shoulders forward.
Try to maintain the natural curve in your low back.
When carrying heavy objects, try to keep them as close to your body as possible.
Carrying two smaller objects, one in each hand, is much easier to handle than one large object.
Reaching and Bending
When you are reaching for an object above shoulder level, stand on a stool. If you strain to reach such objects you can not only hurt your mid-back and neck, but you can also bring on shoulder problems.
Never bend over at the waist to pick up items from the floor. Instead, kneel down on one knee and get as close as possible to the object you are lifting. Keep the other foot flat on the floor and then pick the item up.
When standing with the item hold it close to your body, and lift with your legs, not your back.
Certain sleeping positions can add extra pressure to your spine. One of these positions is stomach-sleeping which makes it difficult to maintain a neutral position of your spine. This position puts pressure on joints and muscles, which can irritate nerves and lead to pain, numbness, and tingling.
When sleeping on your side try placing a pillow in between your legs; this can help to reduce the pressure on your spine.
Listen to your body. More often than not, your body will tell you which position is best.
Smokers suffer from more back pain than non-smokers, and they also heal a lot more slowly when they experience an episode of back pain. This tendency of slower healing is due to the chemicals in tobacco smoke that restricts the blood flow to the tissues in and around your spine.
The Health Tutor
If you follow these simple steps, you will begin to experience the benefits of a healthier spine. If you do suffer from back pain, we recommend that you call and schedule a consultation today so we may help you find the factors that are causing the imbalance and calculate a path to greater health!
For Your Health,
Dr. Scott Van Dam