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Do You Have a Healthy Back?

By Donna Stark

There are so many things we do that aren't exactly healthy for our back. Things like lifting heavy items carelessly, using the wrong technique when swinging those golf clubs, or not stretching properly before an intense workout. And we continue to do things like these because we aren't being warned not to. In other words, because these actions haven't caused our bodies to scream in pain, we don't give them a second thought while doing them. But it's important to realize that you may be setting yourself up for future injuries if you don't correct these actions now. Don't be fooled into believing that just because you have gotten away with it in the past, you aren't going to come face-to-face with back pain down the road. Sooner or later, your luck may run out.

Signs of a Healthy Back

Even if you are not feeling sore at the moment, you may be in the process of stressing and straining your back every single day. And you know what that means? It means you are definitely on the path heading toward injury. So how do you know if your back is healthy or not, especially when there is no pain? Check out the following signs.

  • Good posture - You should be able to hold yourself up straight with relatively little effort. If you find yourself in a slouched position more often than not, try to correct it! Poor posture puts unnecessary stress on your spine.
  • Good mobility - Having good mobility means that you rarely experience stiffness or limitation when completing even the most basic of everyday tasks. Things like picking up your child, reaching for items in your pantry, or getting out of a chair should be able to be done with ease.
  • Good range of motion - Range of motion is the full movement potential of your spine. This can be checked by how well you can do the following: turn your chin to your shoulder, touch your toes, touch your fingers past your knees when bending sideways, and tilt your head backward.
  • Good use - A healthy back should be able to be put to use without experiencing pain by doing so. Gardening, cleaning, or playing a sport should not put you on bedrest the next day. It's OK to be a little stiff, but not to the point where you feel pain and have trouble moving.

Think Before You Move

The best piece of advice I can give to help you avoid a back injury is to think about your spine before it hurts! A lack of pain does not mean that everything is OK, so be consistent with checking the health of your back, and watch those twists and turns!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Littleton, Colo.

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