How Can I Maintain a Healthy Spine

Leading a healthy and active lifestyle is essential in maintaining a healthy spine. However, it is important that in our pursuit for a varied and fulfilling life that we maintain good posture during our daily activities to avoid putting our bodies under unnecessary strain. Poor posture affects up to 90 per cent of people at some point in their lives and in certain severe cases, can lead onto serious conditions. A visit to your Cornwall Chiropractor will ensure that your spine maintains its natural shape and position and can provide useful tips on how to hold your body when performing certain tasks or hobbies.

The Great Outdoors

For the avid gardener, long periods of time can be spent performing repetitive tasks which hold many opportunities for the spine to become misaligned, if not done consciously and with care. From bending over to weed and water your flowerbeds, to digging up roots, lifting heavy plant pots, to filling and pushing wheelbarrows around your garden. Performed in the wrong way, all of these actions have the potential to place a heavy strain on your spine.

Certain postural issues such as Dowager’s Hump, can result in a bent over posture being maintained, often seen in older people with a rounding of the shoulders and unbalanced or rotated hips. This is often caused by prolonged twisting to move soil from a wheelbarrow to the flowerbeds, or to pull out and pile up weeds.

In order to give your spine the best possible protection be sure to think about performing your duties with the best possible posture in mind, using the most effective tools to complete the job. Take regular breaks and don’t be afraid to stretch out and shake your muscles in between tasks. Change positions often to avoid the backache often felt later on that evening or the following morning after exerting yourself. All of these tips will help to minimise some of the most common gardening afflictions.

Office Environments

Lower back pain problems and the disability claims attributed to this issue have one of the highest impacts on the working industry in the UK today. The spine is not designed to maintain long periods of time sitting at a desk. Spending up to 8 hours a day working on a computer can lead to problems not only with the back but also the head, neck, shoulders arms and hands. Balance and co-ordination can also become affected.

Other workplace physical actions that can be linked to the onset of low back problems include the improper lifting of heavy weights, over extended bending and twisting and working in the same position for long periods of time.

You’ll be pleased to hear that most postural issues can be effectively corrected and in certain cases be reversed. To avoid problems all together ensure that you have a fully adjustable chair that fits closely to your back and position the height so that your feet sit firmly on the floor with your eyes in line with the top of your monitor. The keyboard and mouse should move freely to allow your shoulders and arms to be relaxed whilst working and where possible, build in regular breaks to your schedule.

A Mothers Concern

Common everyday tasks, such as performing the household cleaning, washing and cooking can all be performed in a manner that is detrimental to the health of your spine and overall posture. In addition, the act of twisting around to lift children from cars, prams and cots and hoisting babies and toddlers up onto the hips can all cause the shoulders, back and hips to become misaligned. Of course, during pregnancy, the spine and pelvis must realign to balance the increasing size and weight of the body in order to counteract the heavy load now needing to be supported.

What Can I Do?

Postural problems aren’t always presented in such a way that allows us to easily recognise that we have them, but repetitive back pain can be a clear indication that you may need to have your posture professionally assessed. You can make an appointment with your Cornwall Chiropractor for a full examination of the health of your spine to be made, where recommendations will be made to offer you the best possible care to both improve and maintain your posture, no matter what duties you regularly perform, thus improving your overall health and long term well being.