A healthy spine is essential to a healthy life but many people suffer from back and neck pain preventing them from truly living a healthy life. Recommended by the American Chiropractic Association, these simple tips, can help alleviate some of the pain or help to prevent it all together.

Lifting

  • Always avoid twisting while lifting. First lift the object then turn with your whole body in the direction you want to move it.
  • If an item is heavy, it is best to ask for assistance in lifting.
  • Do not bend at the waist to lift an object, bend at the knees to reach down and pick it up.
  • “Lift with your legs” may be a tired saying but it still holds true. Don’t use your back muscles while lifting and instead push up with your legs to avoid damage to your back.

Standing

  • When standing still, position one foot somewhat in front of the other with both knees bent. This will alleviate pressure off of the low back and keep pain from creeping in when standing for a long period of time.
  • The muscles in your back can become overworked if you are bent forward while standing. Try to remain in an upright position with your shoulders back and your chin up, parallel to the floor.

Reaching and Bending

  • If you cannot reach an item, use a step ladder or stool to reach. Attempting to overreach can cause strain in your shoulders in addition to your back and neck.
  • When picking something up, kneel with one leg rather than bending over. This will help keep strain off of your spine and keep it straight while picking up an object.

Carrying

  • Keep the object that you are carrying close to your body. This is especially true for heavier objects.

Sitting

  • Sit with your knees above your hips, your back straight and chin parallel to your lap.
  • Avoid “hunching” over while sitting. It is best to maintain your posture while sitting.
  • Your back has a natural curve to it, even when sitting with your back straight, the curve is still present.

Sleeping

  • Sleeping on your back puts 50lbs of pressure on your spine; place a pillow or rolled up blanket under your knees to alleviate some of this pressure.
  • If you are a side sleeper, keep pressure off your spine by sleeping with a pillow between your legs.
  • Listen to your body. Do not force yourself to lie in a particular position just because you heard it was good for your back. Your body will tell you which position is most comfortable – listen to it.