Chiropractic medicine isn’t just about an adjustment here and there; it’s about positive long-term health, something that is found in your everyday habits rather than just in a trip to the doctor’s office.
When an injury, sleeping wrong, or long days at a desk have your back aching or your neck in pain, then you can apply these few techniques to feel relief today.
When it comes to improving health, being told not to exercise seems crazy, doesn’t it? Yet this workout favorite for getting yourself a six pack is actually harming your health. Most people employ a poor technique for doing sit-ups, ones that strain the neck more than build muscle, and should you be suffering from chronic neck and back pain already, this unique workout routine will only further harm you.
As an alternative, lie down on your face and then lift yourself up so that you’re suspended on your hands and feet like a mini push-up. Rather than repeating this several times, hold the position for as long as you can. When you can’t anymore, rest, and then do so again. This strengthens your back muscles and shoulder muscles, which are instrumental in easing discomfort within your neck and spine.
Sleeping on your chest may be comfortable at the time, but it’s hurting your neck and spine in the long run. By doing so, you’re forcing your neck to one side or the other, which makes it strain for several hours as you sleep. Additionally, unless you position pillows and blankets to take pressure off your low back and shoulder blades, your body will be bent in an unnatural shape – even if it’s to a small degree. This small degree will affect your spinal alignment throughout the night, and especially over the course of several nights. Instead, sleep on your side or back, with a pillow behind your knees to encourage them to bend, so that your spine forms its proper shape.
The discs of our vertebrae must maintain a certain strength and distance from each other to accomplish their main purpose – distributing the weight of the spine so the pressure isn’t too great, which would cause pain. Each of these discs are around 80% water, and the less water they have, the more pressure they’ve leaning on the spine itself, causing back aches, poor alignment, and especially neck pain.
By drinking at least one more glass of water a day than you already do, you’ll begin to notice relief to your joints and vertebrae, and if you upgrade this weekly until you’re consuming eight glasses in total, you’ll remain regularly hydrated. Presto, with your body able to function at top capacity, the pain will leave.
When you’re hunched over your phone all day as you play Pokémon GO, or are tweaked to the side on the couch as you browse social media, this strains your spine, producing sparks on pain down your back and especially in the base of your skull and neck.
The key to easing back pain and eliminating chronic neck pain immediately is adjusting how you use your phone. Take a note from your grandpa and hold your phone up in front of you until your chin is as level as your shoulders, with your eyes straight ahead. This not only helps your neck but also improves your eyesight, as you’ll also be holding the screen farther away. If you dislike this position, try taking more breaks from your phone to walk around and stretch your neck.
With more and more jobs keeping us sedentary in front of a desk, how we position ourselves throughout the work day plays a significant role in how our spines react. The temptation to slouch or hunch over is more prevalent as the day goes on, so invest in a chair designed to encourage a better position – preferably with a head rest that cradles your neck, applying pressure on the right points to force it straight. This will take some of the strain off your neck and encourage you to observe proper posture, avoiding future neck and back pain.
In the theme of work, the equipment we choose also effects how we position ourselves. If you have a laptop, then your head is likely tipped down to view it on your lap, as placing it any higher would be uncomfortable for your hands. Additionally, desks which are positioned lower stylistically force our heads to tip down in order to view our screens. To make sure your neck isn’t craned over, invest in a different monitor to place on your desk, so that you can continue working on your laptop but while transmitting the screen to a monitor positioned higher. Also invest in a taller desk; or to DIY it, place books underneath your monitor or the legs of your desk to elevate it so that your chin can stay level with your shoulders.
Taking a dive isn’t just for summer fun; if your back or your neck is enduring a constant ache, getting into a swim suit and going for a few laps can dramatically improve your health as well as reduce pain and ache. The water takes weight off the spine but allows muscles to work harder against the pressure of the water, which is why it’s a favorite for physical therapists trying to help patients regain muscle tone after an injury. If the water is warm, it can also reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, but even a typical swimming pool will ease stiffness in the neck and joints. Simply sink down until your chin is just above the water and walk in circuits around the pool, or do gentle strokes that allow your neck to move side to side without strain.
Diet has always played a vital role in pain relief and spine health, but can a couple of nuts take off the edge? In fact, they can. Nuts contain high doses of magnesium, which plays a vital role within the body by contracting and relaxing muscles. Taking magnesium supplements is a recommended way to increase your levels to a healthy degree once again, but as nuts also serve as an excellent energy boost. Should you be experiencing more intense pain, applying magnesium oil to the site of pain or bathing in Epsom salt – a high container of magnesium – will provide more immediate relief.
On an average night, we’ll spend eight hours in single position. Therefore it’s obvious that your spine and neck will suffer if they’re caught in a bad position. Most pillows are designed for comfort but not for spine health, and the older your pillow becomes, the more shape it loses and therefore its ability to support your neck. By investing in a chiropractic neck pillow that is crafted to provide the most consistent neck support, you’re allowing your spine to find its natural alignment every night, relieving pain and avoiding further agitation.
By applying these unique tips and matching them with a visit to the chiropractor every four to six weeks, your neck and back pain will not only be a thing of the past, but you’ll experience improved health in all aspects of your body.