Taking Care of Your Back on a Daily Basis
By Stephen R. Farris
Does your job or activity require you to sit for long periods of time, or do heavy lifting? If any of these apply to you, chances are it's putting some type of strain on your back. Not to mention, it could lead to other health problems as well.
If you have to sit for lengthy periods, the best thing you can do is to occasionally get up and stand for a few minutes, or take a short walk to stretch your legs and give your back muscles a break. If you are lifting stuff constantly throughout the day, make sure you're using proper technique and safety devices so you won't put undue stress on your back.
For added back benefits, try doing a few stretches and exercises when you get home. It'll only take a few minutes of your time. There are some other things you can do to take stress off of your back and they should become a part of your daily routine. After all, if your back goes out, you go down. And you have no way of knowing how long it could be to recover.
At night, or whenever your bedtime may be, try placing a pillow under your knees or legs to elevate them slightly. This can take pressure off of your lower back and help you relax so you can rest better.
In order to have and maintain a strong, flexible back, you have to keep your core in shape. That means doing a few simple exercises such as sit-ups and other strength building techniques. A strong core is essential for overall body health.
Another thing you should keep a check on daily is your footwear. Yes, your shoes. If they aren't comfortable enough, they could increase your chances of aches and pain in your feet, legs and lower back. You might try getting a more comfortable pair to wear if you stand on your feet a lot. If the insole is wearing down, most all big box stores carry a variety of insoles built specifically to provide not only comfort for your feet, but for your lower back as well.
Most importantly, you need to make sure you're practicing good posture. Stand up straight, even when walking. Don't slouch or slump over your desk. Sit with your feet on the floor and back straight. Doing these few simple things each day will help keep the strain off of your back.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Renton, Wash.