The following tips can help you take better care of your spine:
- Make sure you have a firm, but not too firm, mattress and supportive pillow that keep the spine aligned and maintain the spine's natural curves during the night. The best sleeping positions are on your back or side. If you sleep on your stomach, you have to turn your head to breathe and this places undue tension on your neck for that entire time. If you are not waking up refreshed, get with the doctor to go over your pillow and bedding.
- When standing for extended periods, rock from side to side or rest one foot on a small stool to maintain spinal curvature and relieve pressure. The knees should be bent when bending forward. Low-heeled shoes may help by maintaining spinal curvatures and cushioning your weight. High-heeled shoes can push the pelvis forward and aggravate the ankles, knees, hips and low back.
- Use chairs that promote good posture and support your back. Placing a lumbar support in the lower portion of your back may help support your spine's natural curve. When getting out of a chair, get your pelvis underneath your body and rise from that posture, as opposed to leaning forward and then coming upright. Readjust the seat of your car so that your knees are level with your hips.
- When bending forward, bend at the knees and keep your back as straight and upright as possible. Stepping sightly forward with one foot when bending at the knees is helpful to keep your spine's curvature in proper alignment. When lifting, keep your spine straight while using your legs to do most of the work. Hold the objects being lifted close to your body to keep the weight on your spine to a minimum. Again, stepping forward with one foot can make a big difference. Try it!!
- Whenever you feel a sneeze coming on, bend your knees and hold onto something to stabilize yourself. This reduces the shock that is transferred to your spine if your legs are straight.
- Use a good calcium/magnesium supplement for optimum muscle and nerve function.
- If you have been having pain or discomfort along your spine, don't put care off hoping it will go away. Distorted muscle and nerve patterns can set in and it simply takes longer to fix things the longer they have been that way.
Glossary of Chiropractic and Health Terms
Click here to see the glossary of chiropractic terms provided by the Consumers' Research Council of America.