Who You Gonna Call? Chiropractors!
By Sara Butler
As a child of the 1980s, my first order of business last weekend was to see the new Ghostbusters reboot. Am I a professional movie reviewer? No. Did I love the original Ghostbusters? Yes. Did I love this new incarnation? Absolutely.
I remember taking film class in college and the professor discussed the “gaze” of a movie. There’s the direction the director is trying to take you in, the lens through which they want you to view the world they are creating, and then there is the way in which you experience the movie as you’re watching it through your own filter -- or gaze. More and more these days, my gaze is influenced by chiropractic care, so I couldn’t help but watch the Ghostbusters put on the proton packs to go fight some ghosts and think, “That has got to be murder on their spines!”
Needless to say, I can be kind of a killjoy at movies, but as I was pondering the question of proton packs and spine health I thought of the very real dangers that just existing, and doing your job, can present to your spine. Which of these spinebusters are present in your life?
Sitting, Standing – Doing Anything for Too Long!
You’ve probably heard that sitting is the new smoking and maybe you just want to dismiss it like a free-floating Class 2 apparition – but you shouldn’t. Americans spend a lot of time on their keisters, and there’s research that draws a correlation between too much sitting and a variety of chronic health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Too much sitting, standing or lying down is also bad for the health of your back.
When you assume any one posture for a long period of time, it can put a lot of pressure on the structures of your back, especially the spongy discs between your vertebrae. This can lead to bulging discs and herniated discs (a.k.a., slipped discs) -- and that can lead to a lot of pain.
The solution? Your chiropractor is your key master to good spinal health. Having regular spinal adjustments can help keep your spine supple, help retain your range of motion, and keep everything in line. Plus, your chiropractor can help you understand the ways in which too much of any one position can be bad, and give you strategies to combat its ill effects, such as getting up and moving around at least once per hour, eating healthy, staying hydrated, getting regular exercise, and stretching.
It’s OK for ghosts to hang out in one spot for extended periods of time, but they don’t have spines. Not anymore, anyway -- they’re ghosts! We’re not.
You may do a little or a lot of bending, lifting and carrying in your life, but it’s really important that you know how to do these things the right way -- especially if you don’t want to end up flat on your back feeling like you just got slimed.
To lift properly, make sure you:
- Never bend your back – You should be using your hips and legs to do any kind of lifting, so make sure you bend your knees and use the power of your hips and legs when picking something up.
- Tighten those abs – Your abdominal muscles play an important role in stabilizing your back, so make sure you tighten up your abs while lifting.
- Plan ahead – Just like fighting ghosts, sometimes lifting is a team effort. Make sure you test out the weight of what you want to lift and get help if you need it.
- Keep items close to your body – When you hold items close to you as you lift and carry, you are putting less strain on your back. This rule applies to anything you carry, from small children to boxes to ghost traps to ecto goggles.
- Pivot instead of turning your upper body – You should never, ever turn your body when you’re carrying something heavy. Instead, pivot with our feet. Failure to do this can result in creating a gateway through which Zuul can enter our dimension. Or, you know, you could just really hurt your back.
Getting Stressed Out
Living life, fighting ghosts, getting to work on time -- it can all be stressful. Too much stress, however, can be terrible for your back. We’re talking a disaster of biblical proportions, here! Stress can make your muscles tighten up, and tight muscles are a sure-fire way to increase your chances of suffering from back pain. Combine the anxiety of stress with the mechanical stress your body is under and it’s a perfect storm for back pain.
Take measures to decrease stress in your life. Try meditation, exercise, deep breathing or just pick up a coloring book (it’s very popular right now). Find a way to deal with the stresses of everyday life that works for you and trap that stress like a ghost in a box.
Look, your life may not be under attack by entities from another dimension, but there are common things from this dimension that are attacking your back every single day. The key to preventing damage to your spine and promoting good spinal health is to be aware of what is dangerous to you, then taking steps to neutralize them. Your first line of defense is always going to be your chiropractor, so get into The Joint Chiropractic today!
And remember when in the presence of apparitions, if you see Elvis, we’d like to know how he’s doing.