It’s the start of the new year, and everyone is setting goals, many of them being health-related. If you want to reduce or even eliminate back pain in 2019, here are some tips to help you attain your objective.
Resolution 1 – Get Better Sleep
Sleep habits can have a big effect on the health of your spine. If you want to ease back pain, it makes sense to take a look how well your sleep. For example, if you already sleep on your back, you are enjoying the best position for your spine. However, if your lower back is the problem area, you can remove extra pressure by placing a pillow behind your knees while you sleep.
For side sleepers, keeping a pillow between your knees can stop your top leg from sliding forward or backward and twisting the lower spine. If you sleep on your stomach, the best option is to change your sleep position. Keeping your head turned to the side all night can affect the structures of the neck, and this can lead to changes throughout the spine that may result in back pain.
Resolution 2 – Actually Use That Gym Membership
Whether you got it as a gift around the holidays or picked one up for yourself to reach some New Year/New Me type goal, the best reason to use your gym membership is for your spine health. Core exercises, in particular, can strengthen the spine’s support system and help you to experience less pain.
If you are dealing with chronic back pain, you may not be able to jump right into a regular exercise routine. However, almost everyone can do some exercise. You can try working out a graduated exercise program with your physician that may start with something as simple as stretching and work up to moderate exercise.
Resolution 3 – Replace Your Shoes
Take some of those gift certificates you got for the holidays and buy yourself some comfy shoes. If you’ve been wearing the same old shoes for years, your back is not receiving the support it needs. When shoes begin to show significant signs of wear, it is time to replace them, before your back lets you know you need new shoes.
Resolution 4 – Improve Your Posture
Your posture plays a huge role in the amount of strain that your back has to handle from day to day. The head weighs about 12 pounds on its own, but if you lean your head forward to look at computer screens all day or for frequent mobile device checking, you may be increasing the load on your spine to 60 pounds. That’s a major difference that the spine is not designed to handle. Improving your posture can help with back pain and give you a more confident bearing. From greater energy to improved mood, the benefits of good posture cannot be understated.
Resolution 5 – Finally Give Up Smoking
If you needed that one more reason to finally quit the smoking habit, your back pain can provide it. Smoking affects blood flow in the body, and researchers have found that reduced blood flow can lead to the premature degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae. As a result, smoking can cause spinal arthritis to set in early and may cause other disc issues. Quitting today may allow you to salvage what is left of those discs and get your spine health back to a place where it is manageable.
Resolution 6 – Use Proper Form to Lift and Carry
Be sure to lift by bending at the knees rather than the waist, regardless of the amount you intend to pick up. Carrying heavy weights as close to your body as you can also provides additional support for your spine. If you have to carry something for a longer period of time, such as a heavy bag, try to distribute the weight evenly. For example, a backpack may be better for your spine than a shoulder bag that distributes the weight in an uneven manner.
Resolution 7 – Give Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care a Try
If you have never heard of this chiropractic subspecialty before, then let us start by discussing the unique features of upper cervical care.
- Focused – Upper cervical chiropractors focus on just two bones in the top of the neck, the C1 and C2 vertebrae. Since these bones balance the head, any misalignment creates changes throughout the spine in order to keep your head straight.
- Precise – The measurements taken using diagnostic imaging can pinpoint misalignments down to hundredths of a degree. While this may seem like too small of a subluxation to matter, when it comes to the top bones of the neck, fractions of a millimeter can have far-reaching effects on the spine and other parts of the body.
- Low force – There is no popping or twisting of the spine associated with upper cervical chiropractic. Depending on the practitioner, you will experience a gentle touch below the ear, the use of an adjusting instrument, or corrections that require a uniquely designed adjusting table. Low force corrections are pain-free and safe for patients of all ages.
Correcting the upper cervical misalignment that caused changes throughout the spine has helped some patients to find long-term back pain relief that they previously thought was not possible. If you have been suffering from chronic back pain, why not give this safe and natural form of care a try? Find a practitioner near you and schedule a no-obligation consultation to start the path to better spine health today.