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Taking Cues From Your Toddler and Chiropractor

By Donna Kostiew

I have been in the childcare business for years, and one thing that I have noticed is that young toddlers often have better form when it comes to sitting and bending than most adults do. Their backs are perfectly straight, their heads are in a neutral position, and they use their knees and hips when bending over for their favorite toy. It’s interesting to me because it shows that by nature, our bodies are created to be perfect machines … but over time, the external forces of our daily lives change all of that. Adulthood has somehow become equivalent to living in pain.

We have a lot to learn from our nine-month-olds, don’t we?

As Our Age Increases, So Do Our Bad Habits

Your chiropractor can produce a sheet-full of bad habits that rivals your yearly Thanksgiving grocery list. Here are some of the worst habits that can affect the health of your spine.

  • Backpacks and heavy purses – Carrying the extra weight from either one, all of the time, can alter your gait and posture by creating an imbalance in your muscles. This imbalance can then cause the muscles to tire easily, or become stiff and sore, which can bring about neck pain and headaches. If you carry a backpack or purse, try to keep the weight manageable and switch sides frequently.
  • Wallets – Most men will carry a wallet in their back pocket and don’t notice that when they sit, it actually tilts their pelvis. Sitting like this for an extended period of time causes their body to compensate for that unevenness and puts an additional strain on their spine and muscles. Although it may feel weird to sit without it, try to remove your wallet and place it somewhere else while at work, home, or in the car.
  • Stomach sleeping – Sleeping on your stomach is one of the worst things for your spine. Most people who sleep in this position end up favoring one side over the other and oftentimes keep their head turned that way the whole night, as well. This not only can cause pain, numbness, and headaches, but also less quality sleep. To break this habit, bring some extra pillows to bed and strategically place them between your knees or around your body so that you will not roll during your sleep.
  • Forward head tilt – Otherwise known as text neck, this forward head posture is becoming more and more problematic as the usage of our technology increases and can cause degeneration and early onset of arthritis in the neck. So take plenty of breaks, bring your phone to eye level rather than bending your spine to phone level, stretch, and always be mindful of your posture.

Sometimes the habit that is the hardest to break is the one most worth the effort, so hold yourself accountable and begin to experience a pain-free life.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Marcos, Calif.

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