Basics for your back, huh? Don’t slouch; it doesn’t get any basic than that. Sounds great but I’m afraid there’s more to it than that. While not slouching is great advice and it keeps your spine straight and gives you great posture, you need to do more for your back. Don’t slouch; easier said than done. Besides not wanting to hear your mother snap at you for slouching at the dinner table or anywhere for that matter, there are other ways you can keep yourself from slouching. According to Helium.com opting to sit in a chair with a straight back forces you to sit up straight. Holding your shoulders back and tightening your stomach muscle help you with not slouching. Being mindful of your slouching everyday will get you in the routine of correcting it until not slouching becomes as easy breathing, well not that easy but you get the idea. Sleeping on your side is the best position for your back because it keeps the spines natural curve for hours. Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position because it causes neck cramps and spinal compression and all that practice you did so you wouldn’t slouch goes to waste because sleeping on your stomach ruins your posture. Life supplemented.org says that magnesium found in red meats is essential for building strong bones. Vitamins K, D, A, C, and B12 are great not only for your bones but your back as well. Eating foods rich with these vitamins or supplements are ways you can keep your back healthy. Just remember not to consume so much, too much of a good thing is bad for you.
How to Stretch Your Back
Never underestimate the power of a good workout. Yoga, aerobics, Pilates are not just great for keeping your figure they’re wonderful for your back. These exercises are great for stretching and relieving your muscles. Amongst other health problems “smoking can cause the disks in your spine to degenerate faster than they normally would”. Along with restricting your blood vessels which is bad because you need to have blood flow going to your spine. On top of causing back pain a lot earlier than expected, your spine can look like that of someone who is twice your age. With that in mind you should know that it is never too late and quitting smoking can dramatically improve your health faster than you think. I know we’ve all seen that commercial about Bob-o-pedic mattresses. Wait a minute don’t change the channel just yet he’s onto something. Medium- firm mattresses along with one’s that take your shape (notice the models are laying on their side) are great for your back. If it is too firm it will leave your back unsupported. It moves every time you or anyone else moves and what happens if the cat decides to play with the mysterious wobbly bed. Yes that water bed is pretty cool and it’s so soothing but it too leaves no support for your back which means back pains and a used to be soothing waterbed. Memory foam beds are good too because they take the natural shape of your body while sleep and it aligns your spine.
Severe Back and Neck Pain
Caring for your back should be a priority no matter how old you are. The earlier you start the better off you’ll be. This brings me to students and the load they carry on their backs. According to web MD a students’ backpack should not weigh more than 10 percent of their body weight; many of their backpacks exceed that number by double. This can cause many health problems including severe back and neck pain, especially for students’ who participate in extracurricular activities and carry more than just their school books. With that being said there are many solutions for this. Some schools provide two set of books for the classroom and for home so their students’ don’t have to carry those heavy textbooks. Another alternative is to copy some of your assigned homework into your notebook if possible. Doing this may eliminate one or two textbooks from you or your child’s load. There also backpacks with wheels on them which completely relieve the pressure of their necks and backs and they come in a variety of styles and colors. A lot of people don’t know their limits, what they are capable of handling. Just because something may not seem so heavy doesn’t mean your body can handle it. If you’re used to lifting about 20 pounds daily, lifting 30 or 35 pounds could be all it takes to hurt yourself. Lifting weights is a great way to gradually increase the amount your able to handle. When lifting heavy objects always squat and hold the object closely and lift with your legs. Never twist your body always turn with your feet. If it’s a heavy box one suggestion is to split the items between two boxes so your load is lighter. Be sure to also stay within your reach. Stretching too far to get something can strain your back along with other parts of your body. If something is out of your reach it’s safer to step on a stool rather than reaching for it.
Knees to Chest Stretch
You know those pair of gorgeous high heels you got the other day? The pair that was 50% off at your favorite department store and you just couldn’t resist walking away from them, they make you look like you have killer legs and if you already have them they accentuate them. Yes that pair, well I’m afraid they are terribly wrong for your back. I know, I know how could they be, they’re so perfect. High heels can lead to chronic back pain and knee joint pain. They ruin your posture, and they cause damage to your hip and your spine. While I can’t convince you or myself to stop wearing them I can tell you about ways to make wearing them safer. When traveling somewhere instead of wearing your heels the entire time, try wearing something with a lower heel or sneakers and change when you get to your destination, switch them again when you’re are leaving. I also suggest wearing shoes with low-mid heel heights and occasionally wearing high heels. Another thing people underestimate is walking. Walking is great for your back. Next time you catch yourself grabbing your car keys to drive to the corner store take a walk there instead. If you have to take the bus to the subway walk instead, if it’s about 10-15 stops away get off early and walk the rest of the 5 stops. If you have to take 2 trains to get to work or school sit for one train ride and stand for the other. Doing anyone of these daily may seem like nothing but they have a great impact on your back health. It’s better to do what’s best for your back before you experience back pain.