Tips: Protecting Your Back
By Sara Butler
Being active is an important step to keep the spine healthy and flexible. The chiropractors at The Joint encourage all their patients to be as active as they can. But when you’re out and moving your body, there are some things that need to be kept in mind. Here are some helpful hints to stay healthy this summer.
Use Your Legs!
The legs should always be the primary mover when lifting an object, not the hips or the back! This means the back needs to be kept straight while squatting to reach an object to be picked up, bending the knees. The power of the glutes (the muscles in the buttocks) is essential to use here, so the muscles in the hips and legs can be used to lift the weight.
Hold It Close
When lifting an object, it should be held as close to the body as possible. Never twist the back when carrying an object, but instead pivot using the feet to turn the whole body at once. If twisting occurs, then the risk of injury to the back and spinal discs greatly increases with the added weight of whatever is being carried. This is an easily avoidable injury, so make sure to hold what is being carried close!
One of the great universal core exercises, planks take concentration and practice to get right, but the payoff once mastered is huge! The help of a professional trainer may be needed in order to understand the proper form for maximum benefit, but once mastered it is a simple exercise to do at almost any time that can work to strengthen the core muscles and better support the spine, leading to a reduction in injury and fewer episodes of back pain. Ask an exercise class instructor, personal trainer, or health care provider such as a chiropractor about doing planks the right way.
Stretch It Out
Regular stretching is essential to a healthy body and spine, so make sure to stretch consistently and properly. If you’re unsure what to do, then just discuss it with the chiropractors at The Joint. They can help formulate a stretching regimen that works with a person’s individual abilities and needs.
Water helps to hydrate the soft tissues of the body, including the spine. Drinking enough of it allows for the body to work as it should, providing enough energy and preventing fatigue throughout the day. Being dehydrated can increase the chance of injury since it impacts focus and causes sluggish movements due to fatigue.
Following these tips should help you to stay healthy all summer long, but if you have other questions, never hesitate to ask the chiropractor at The Joint!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.