Spine Care Tips

precor stretchUnhealthy habits often lead to an unhealthy back. Poor posture, continuous standing, sitting or bending can contribute to back pain. Other habits like improper lifting, carrying, or smoking can also contribute to an unhealthy back.

At Cann Chiropractic we want to ensure overall spinal health, so we have compiled a few spine care tips to keep you back healthy and pain-free.

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Many of our patients spend the majority of their time sitting at a desk. Remember that when working you make sure to sit comfortably with your back well supported by the chair. Your feet should be firmly on the ground with your knees bent to an angle greater than 90 degrees. Your computer should be positioned so you look straight ahead, and not to the side. Finally, when making phone calls, you should avoid holding the phone between your shoulder and ear, but sit straight or use a hands-free device.

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Stand straight with your shoulder blades pulled back and down. Your back should be straight, not slouched. Hold your head straight with your earlobes set above the middle of your shoulders.

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When lifting, make sure the object being lifted is close to your body. Keep your back straight, and bend your knees and hips. Lift smoothly without twisting and avoid sudden or jerking movements. Never lift objects at arms length or by keeping your legs straight and bending at the waist.

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To avoid sleep related back pain, the best way to sleep is on your side with a pillow between your knees. If you prefer sleeping on your back, a pillow under your knees helps maintain the natural curves of your back and relieve pressure on your spine. Flip you mattress at regular intervals to ensure even mattress wear and continuous back support.

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Exercise & Stretching

Regular exercise is critical to overall back health. Not only does exercise strengthen your back, it also eliminates extra weight that can add to spinal stress. Stretching promotes good posture, keeps the muscles pliable and helps them stay injury free.

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Principles of Good Posture

Long ago and far away, a fourth-grade teacher told a student to “stand up straight – you look like a pretzel”. The unthinking adult only offered criticism. The child was left to try to unkink himself in the ways that probably caused more structural damage.

Most of us think good posture involves thrusting out the chest and pulling back the shoulders. Informing a person that he needs to improve his posture usually results in a sudden, robot-like increase in stature, the person stiffly incorporating most or all of these muscular stresses.

Most of our daily activities work against good posture. We spend large portions of our days sitting in an uncomfortable chair, peering at a computer terminal. Muscles tighten and joints get stiff as we make our way through our daily tasks and responsibilities.

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Your Body – An Owner’s Manual

Wouldn’t it be great if your body came with an owner’s manual? You’d probably begin reading it around the age of seven or eight, and right away you would be able to start taking better care of your precious body. You would learn how you can use your body efficiently and effectively. By learning how to use your body correctly, you’d be ensuring a lifetime of good health and peak performance. You wouldn’t have to play catch up when, after years and decades of uninformed abuse, your once-perfect physical machinery began to systematically break down. In fact, by taking the time to learn sound practices, habits, and techniques now, you could avoid what, for many, turns out to be years or even decades of unnecessary physical pain and mental or emotional suffering. Fortunately, it’s never too late to start improving your life and maximizing your health, and the sooner you get started, the sooner you will start experiencing the benefits.

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Good Posture – Just How Important is it?

Posture ranks right up at the top of the list when you are talking about good health. It is as important as eating right, exercising, getting a good night’s sleep and avoiding potentially harmful substances like alcohol, drugs and tobacco. Good posture is a way of doing things with more energy, less stress and fatigue. Without good posture, you can’t really be physically fit.

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