Preventing the need for a Chiropractor


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Chiropractic is primarily a method of relieving the symptoms of neck or back pains, however, there are numerous things that can be done and incorporated into your everyday life to prevent the need for a chiropractor. As a lot of chiropractic treatment seems to revolve around musculoskeletal problems (such as movement or posture) it is important to consider hold yourself during general tasks such as shopping and sitting at your computer. By doing this, recognising any issues and improving your posture may just be a great way to prevent the requirement for chiropractic care.

By maintaining a good, suitable posture, you are taking a big step towards saving yourself from back pain. Back pain is a big problem in today’s society where everyone seems to have a hectic life and simple things like posture and slight back pain go unnoticed or uncared about. This means the problem gets worse and you may need to seek professional help, which can be expensive, inconvenient and possibly painful. There are several daily tasks that tend to be done with a poor posture, which may cause long-term problems. Some of these shall be discussed with ways in which you can improve your posture and prevent back pain.

Computer Posture

Working at computers has become a massive part of many lives. They are present in offices, schools and now appear to be the key way to keep up-to-date with your social life at home. This increase in computer use means that you must be more aware of your posture whilst using them as you may be damaging your spine.

First of all, you should take in the positioning of your chair. For a correct posture, the chair should be at a height that allows you to sit with your feet flat on the floor whilst keeping your knees bent and at a slight angle from your pelvis (so knees end up higher up that hips). In this position, when you look straight ahead, your eye level should be in line with the top of the computer screen.

How you sit in your newly positioned chair is also vital in maintaining the correct posture. It is recommended that you should keep your bottom and shoulder blades touching the back of the chair in a relaxed fashion. You should also ensure that your elbows are level with the surface on which your computer keyboard sits.

It is not all about posture to ensure you are not damaging your spine, you should also move every now and again (try to walk about one every half hour or so).

However, it is increasingly common these days to use a laptop rather than a desktop computer. The posture recommendations are rather similar for this type of computer. Although, it is advisable to use a plug-in mouse and keyboard when using the laptop at home as well as putting the laptop on a stand to keep it at the correct eye level.

When carrying your laptop, it may be worth to invest in an appropriate backpack as opposed to an over the shoulder laptop case. This means the weight is more even distributed and is not pulling you down on one side and bending your spine for any amount of time.

Lifting

Many people get back pain because they have lifted something relatively heavy in an incorrect fashion. Many jobs these days require training in lifting objects as despite it seeming like a relatively straightforward task, it is frequently done wrong and results in spinal injury.

When you bend down to pick up the object, you should ensure your back is relaxed and straight and that your legs are at least shoulder width apart (to ensure you are stable) and that knees are bent. Try and keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders and head straight above your waist. Also, keep the object you are lifting as close to your body as you can.

If you bend at the waist, you put more stress on your lower back, which is a common area that people seek chiropractic treatment for. You should also ensure that your knees as never straight because this puts more strain on your back and causes it to stretch and become damaged.

When you are ready to put the object down, you should be just as careful as when you picked it up as this activity can cause just as many injuries. If possible, place the object on something that is waist high to prevent bending. If this is not an option, keep your legs shoulder width apart and ensure all your body is facing the same way. Then bend your knees (NOT your back) and place the object carefully on the floor.

Carrying Bags

These days it is hard to walk down a high street without seeing numerous large handbags being carried around as a fashion statement. These bags are already heavier than average, and once filled they can put a large strain on your neck and shoulders. The long-term use of such bags can also have an affect on your posture.

To minimise the stress the bag has on your body, you should keep it as light as possible – only carry around what you need. It is also a good idea to invest in a bag that carries weight more evenly. Handbags and shoulder bags tend to put a lot more weight and strain on one side of your body, whereas bags like backpacks (rucksacks) spread the weight across your back and both shoulders.

Whatever type of bag you use, adjust the straps to ensure that it is always being carried as close to your body as possible and you can remain in control of it. This ensures that the load stays as even as possible and the body has more balance and less strain implicated on it.

If you have been shopping and are carrying the bags around, try and keep the weight even in each hand.

Gardening

For those who enjoy taking care of their gardens, it can be a pleasurable task however, the postures that you take can lead to back pain especially if they are done held for a long time (which in gardening, they often are).

There are numerous ways in which to keep a good posture and help prevent future back pain whilst gardening. This starts with the clothing that your wear. You should pick loose, comfortable articles of clothing to allow your movements to be free as opposed to constricted.

Gardening is also like a sport. It can be a strenuous activity that takes a lot of energy and movement. To prepare for this you should warm up. This doesn’t have to mean with stretched and other exercise techniques, instead you can just apply yourself to lighter gardening jobs like planting pots before starting on harder garden work. You should also ensure that you give yourself a break every half hour.

When you are pruning your plants, you should try not to accidently overstretch when trying to reach a certain area. Instead, purchase some secateurs that have a longer handle to accommodate the extra length require. This short-term investment may prevent a lot more expensive being paid out for chiropractic treatment.

Commuting

People travel to various locations on a daily basis. This may be done by bus, train, car, bike or walking; all of which can put a strain on your back.

If your method of commuting primarily involves you standing, you should ensure you are wearing comfortable clothing and shoes (flat heeled). You should also try and stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and hold onto a rail to maintain balance a prevent unnecessary back stress associated with overstretching and discomfort.

If you are one of the lucky ones who manage to find a seat on public transport, you should still be aware of your posture. Remain relaxed with your shoulder blades and bottom against the back of the seat. Try not to remain totally still, do small movements such as foot circles to avoid falling victim to stiffness.

Nowadays, fewer people commute by public transport; instead most people in the UK drive to work. Driving, however, is a big contributor to back pain due to the amount of time sat in the same position (and often this position is not beneficial for the back, neck, shoulders or joints). Therefore, if you drive, be sure that your headrest and seat adjustments are suitable for your personal body.

All in all, the best way to commute (if possible) is by walking. Not only is it good for the environment and for your health, it also improves posture as well as circulation and muscle tone whilst keeping muscles and joints active.


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