posture

Moving

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You’re moving, great news, right? While there is excitement with moving, relocating can also be highly stressful not only financially, but on your body as well. Especially when you do it yourself.

We all have boxes of hidden treasures that we’ve collected over the years. Boxes of books, knick-knacks, old magazines, dishes and other things that make for heavy lifting. Lifting heavy boxes and bulky furniture is enough to wear anyone down. That’s why it’s important to remember spine health during your move.

Back injuries can be very common during moves, the following are common mistakes people make during the moving process that can be avoided.

Mistakes people make when moving that irritate the spine:

Not warming up prior to lift: Cold muscles are prone to injuries. Before carrying boxes, stretch your arms, legs and hips to  warm up your body muscles and get them ready for a physically demanding day. Do stretches that mimic the muscle movements you’ll make when moving. Also take breaks through-out the day to stretch your muscles and hydrate.

Over lifting with back, bend twist: It’s important to know your limits when it coming to lifting boxes and heavy furniture. Beyond just knowing your limits, also be sure to use good body mechanics and ask a friend for help with heavy boxes and furniture.

Poor sleep: We’ve all been there, right? The night before you stayed up late to get those last kitchen cupboards empty, and stayed awake in bed mentally going through your checklist for moving day. As hard as it might be, be sure to get a full nights sleep prior to moving day.

Not stretching post activity: It’s important to stretch and stay active to keep blood flowing through your muscles.

Over relying on caffeine: So you didn’t get those eight ours of sleep, did you? Relying on caffeine to get you through the day isn’t a great idea. Relying on caffeine too much can have negative impacts on your body. Coffee, rather the caffeine in coffee can contribute to the build up of stress. Not to mention that “high levels of caffeine can affect your mood, leaving you angry.” (read more)

Extended driving: Unfortunately back pain and driving often go hand in hand. Prolonged periods of sitting in the same position with poor driving ergonomics can take a toll on your body. To prevent back pain from the long drive try to maintain a healthy posture as your drive. Adjust mirrors so there isn’t strain on your neck to use them. Considering using a lumbar support cushion and take regular breaks from driving.

 


Posture

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A while back when we talked about stress, we spoke about how many people who are stressed may have bad posture. We had a few patients ask us: What are some tips for improving posture? We talked so much about the results of bad posture and what can cause it, but we realized we didn’t address how to fix it. We wanted something that would easy and comfortable for anyone, but quick enough that most of us could find time in our day.

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Here are four easy steps to improve your posture.

1. 90% of readers will not do this step. Set an alarm in your phone for spinal hygiene 1x per day, 7 days a week. You spend 5 minutes a day taking care of your teeth, the least you can do is spend 5 minutes taking care of your spine.

2. Spinal Hygiene in 5 minutes a day.
a. Cat/cow – on all fours, arch back up and down slowly for 2 minutes
b. Stretch front of neck (both sides) for 30 seconds each
c. Kneeling stretch for upper thigh (hip flexors) (both sides) for 30 seconds each
d. Chest stretch (Pectoral muscles) stretch (both sides) for 30 seconds each

3. Have a good Chiropractor in your corner. Similar to having a good dental health expert or a tax expert this practical. A good Chiropractor can steer you clear of bad habits and answers questions you might have.
a. Friendly reminders on spinal hygiene
b. Questions answered correctly and quickly

4. See step 1 and make sure the reminder is in your phone 🙂

At our office, we printed these steps out for patients to put on their fridge as a gentle reminder. So feel free to print this post to bookmark it. One of the better strategies is to perform these exercises when you brush your teeth. Then you can do two healthy things in just 10 minutes a day. Feel free to add more activity as you become more aware of your spine. In the first 90 days just focus on setting these activities as a habit, your awareness of your posture will improve as you get more used to the activities.