A healthy spine is an often overlooked and essential part of a healthy lifestyle. People who suffer from back pain, particularly if it is long-term back pain, are generally less healthy than those who do not. In fact, back pain costs are staggering not only financially, but also in terms of lost time from work and because of psychological and psychosocial problems that often arise and are associated with long-term back pain.
Unfortunately, approximately 80-90% of the Irish population suffers from back pain at some point. People who are overweight or obese, and who smoke, lift heavy objects, or had a previous episode of back pain, have been found to be more likely to experience back pain.
Because so many people suffer from back pain, and as chiropractors in Gorey dealing with back pain on a day to day basis we understand the value of trying to keep your back as healthy as possible and we encourage our clients to adopt a preventative approach to back pain. Following simple posture, lifting, and healthy lifestyle guidelines can help you keep your back in good shape and prevent back pain.
The Gorey Family Chiropractic Clinic Chiropractors recommend the following spinal health tips:
• When standing, if your suffer back pain, avoid remaining in the same position for more than 5-10 mins and try to stand with the feet shoulder width apart to reduce strain.
• Do not stand bent forward at the waist for prolonged periods of time. The muscles in your low back become strained in this position, which may lead to back pain.
• At all times, avoid twisting while lifting. Twisting is one of the most dangerous movements for your spine, especially while lifting.
• If the item is too heavy to lift, pushing it is easier on your back than pulling it. Whenever possible, use your legs, not your back or upper body, to push the item.
• If you must lift a heavy item, get someone to help you and or use mechanical hoists, wheelbarrows etc to assist. Rushing is frequently associated with back pain injury so take a little time and work out the best way of moving heavy objects.
• Keep your knees slightly higher than your hips, with your head up and back straight.
• Avoid rolling your shoulders forward (slouching).
• Try to maintain the natural curve in your low back. Use a small cushion or support if neccessary behind your lower back.
Reaching and Bending
• When reaching for something above shoulder level, stand on a stool. Straining to reach such objects may not only hurt your mid-back and neck, but it can also bring on shoulder problems.
• Do NOT bend over at the waist to pick up items from the floor or a table.
• Instead, kneel down on one knee, as close as possible to the item you are lifting, with the other foot flat on the floor and pick the item up.
• Or bend at the knees, keep the item close to your body, and lift with your legs, not your back.
• When carrying objects, particularly if they are heavy, keep them as close to your body as possible.
• Carrying two small objects—one in each hand—is often easier to handle than one large one.
Healthy Diet and Exercise
• While the proverbial jury is still out, it is suspected that extra weight puts undue strain on your spine. Keep within 10 lbs. of your ideal weight for a healthier back.
• “Beer belly” is likely the worst culprit, as it puts unwanted pressure on the muscles, ligaments and tendons in your low back.
• The most efficient and effective way to reduce weight is by eating a sensible diet and exercising regularly.
• Consult with your chiropractor or other health professional before beginning any exercise program, particularly if you have a health condition.
• Sleeping on your back puts approximately 50 pounds of pressure on your spine.
• Placing a pillow under your knees while lying on your back cuts the pressure on your spine roughly in half.
• Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees may also reduce the pressure on your back.
• Never sleep in a position that causes a portion of your spine to hurt. Most often, your body will tell you what position is best.
Smokers have more back pain than nonsmokers, and they also heal more slowly when they have an episode of back pain because the chemicals in tobacco smoke restrict the flow of blood to the tissues in and around your spine.
While following these instructions is no guarantee that you’ll be free from back pain for your entire life, it can certainly reduce your risk of developing it. These simple steps will help you keep your spine in good shape, making you a healthier, happier person.
Our specialist Co. Wexford based Chiropractic team are trained and hold extensive experience both in Ireland and the U.K in back pain diagnosis, back pain treatment and back pain rehabilitation. Equipped with on site x ray and state of the art gait scanning equipment, we consider not only your back pain, but the root cause of your problem and will work with you to help maximise your recovery through tailor made treatment, education and rehabilitative exercise, where appropriate.
For your convenience all of our Gorey Family Chiropractic team are registered with VHI, Glo, Aviva and Laya Healthcare allowing clients claim reimbursement for back pain treatment from a wide range of private healthcare Insurance providers. We also provide care under the GAA injury scheme.
Opening hours Mon 8-7, Tues 9-5, Wed 8-7, Thurs 9-5, Frid 8-7
Tel: 053 94 83338 or alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org