There are dozens of things we do on a daily/weekly basis that cause stress on our spines, pushing our posture and alignment ‘off’. These daily repetitive habits can produce a situation where your adjustments may not “hold” as well.
A couple of frequent questions I get from both new and long-term patients is, “what can I do to help support my adjustments?” or “what causes me to go out of proper alignment?”
Aside from following your recommended adjustment/rehab/traction schedule, here are the top 6 easiest things you can do to help:
1. Be posture aware, especially when looking at your phone or tablet. Bring your arms up, not your head down, when using your electronic devices. Think about the time you spend looking down during the day…. too much!
Click here to see a video on a great way to hold your tablet.
Those who knit/sew/crochet or spend long periods of time looking down, apply the 15-minute rule. Every 15 minutes (you may need a timer on your phone) get up and stretch by looking to the ceiling for 10 – 30 seconds a couple of times. Yes, it’s inconvenient, but your health will be better for it.
2. Adjust your computer monitor so that your head is either neutral or slightly above neutral.
3. When sitting (in your car, at your desk, on your couch) do not allow your low back to round. See what ‘couch slouch’ does to you by clicking here.
4. Do not bend forward and twist in either your neck or low back. This is the reason vacuuming and mopping are one the main causes of a disc bulge/herniation. A bend in your neck or low back coupled with a twist puts a tremendous amount of pressure through your discs. Over time the discs can weaken to the point of a disc bulge or herniation – not fun!
5. Sleep properly – back or side are the only acceptable positions. See here for best positions and how to use your pillows correctly.
6. Move. Do not be sedentary for prolonged periods of time during the day. “Motion” is “lotion” for your joints. Movement keeps them healthy and feeling good. Even a short walk at lunch has benefits.
Unfortunately, even if you are doing all the above, the daily stresses in our modern lives, coupled with gravity, make it difficult to maintain proper posture or alignment without consistent chiropractic care.
The good news is that once you have your spine corrected to its maximal state, the less you need to do in order to maintain it.