Many of us go through each day typing on a computer, bending or lifting items, gardening, taking care of our children and playing sports. If not done properly, these activities can cause pain or injury which may become chronic if left untreated.
“Back pain is pervasive in our society. Eighty percent of us will suffer from it at some point in our lives, and fifty percent of us will suffer from back pain this year alone,” said Dr. Frank J. Valente D.C., CCSP. “Low-back pain is the most common work complaint experienced by Americans today. Many Americans today are health and body conscious. We want to look and feel our best by taking care of our bodies – exercising, getting regular dental and eye exams and by getting enough sleep. In doing so, we ignore the focal point of where much of the pain associated with our daily activities originates – our spine,” Dr. Valente added.
The central nervous system originates in the brain and channels down through the spinal column, extending to every part of the body. A misalignment of the vertebrae of the spine may result in nerve interference, resulting in headaches, low-back and neck pain, among other problems.
Listen to your body. Use preventative measures at work and at home. Here are a few suggestions to help reduce the risk of spinal injury:
• While at the office, remember to take frequent stretch breaks while working on your computer, about every 25 minutes. The more hours per day you use your computer, the greater the risk of discomfort or injury.
• While working on your computer, sit with your knees at approximately a 90- to 120-degree angle. Using an angled foot rest to support your feet may help you sit more comfortably.
• Make sure your chair fits correctly. Allow for two inches between the front edge of the seat and the back of your knees. The chair should tilt back so you can rest while you’re reading what is on your computer screen.
• Avoid twisting and turning motions. Always bend from the knees, not your waist, when lifting anything heavier than ten percent of your body weight, such as a child or a heavy box.
• Warm up and stretch before any physical activity, including all sports, raking, and gardening. Be aware of your body form and technique: stand as erect as possible and let your legs and arms do the work, not your back. Allow your body and muscles time to cool down after such an activity.
• It is important to get a good night’s rest. Choose a comfortable supportive mattress as well as a pillow that supports the weight of your head, reducing the risk of back or neck pain.
The key to correct posture is prevention; listen to your body’s warning signals and adjust your lifestyle. If you do experience pain for more than one or two days despite using these preventive measures, consult your local chiropractor. Doctors of chiropractic are trained to identify the cause of the problem and adjust or manipulate the spine to encourage the body’s natural healing process. More than 20 million Americans sought chiropractic care last year for spinal injuries and pain.
If you have any questions regarding yours or your family's posture feel free to contact Dr. Valente at (917) 338-7917or visit at www.midtown-chiropractor.com.