As the season changes, it’s time to prioritize the health of your spine
Say goodbye to the winter slog- it’s time to freshen up your routine. Along with spring cleaning, you should always focus on the health of your spine. A great way to limit the impact of back pain on your life is by focusing on adding stability into your lower back. Your core and associated stabilizing muscles should be much more than a set of muscles developed for appearance’s sake; let’s look at the muscles which contribute to spinal stability and what they do for you:
With so much focus on how to workout, we need to make sure we aren’t working out the wrong way!
For many of us, working out is the first part of our routine to go out the window. Outside of work, working out is the activity that requires the most energy input and therefore it is the easiest to set aside on a day when you are feeling lazy. Let’s change our attitudes toward working out and avoid these common mistakes.
Are you actively practicing any of these workout pitfalls?
- Working out for the mirror: mirror muscles are chests, shoulders, abs, biceps, triceps and traps; the ones that make you look great. Looking great is a part of feeling good, but by focusing on only these muscles, you are foregoing the strengthening of muscles that matter for the longevity of your body.
- Working out is a chore: if you dread the hour of your day you have carved out for working out, chances are you are due for a change of activity. Focus on muscle building and cardio conditioning activities that you actually enjoy.
- Taking short cuts on your warm up: This is the most important part of your work out. If you are going to take short cuts, make them in the actual exercise. Falling short on the warm up leaves you susceptible to injury and actually harms your chances of building muscle effectively.
- Cardio before strength training: choosing cardio first can sap your energy levels that you need for muscle building. Try alternating days between the two or doing cardio after weights.
When it comes to spinal health, posture is king
Unless you are constantly changing your position throughout the day, you are likely to settle in to some kind of posture that is putting undue pressure on some part of the body. Because “proper posture” involves a lot of positioning of the upper body, slumping and slouching causes a lot of the problems to filter down to the lower back, which is responsible for bearing the weight of the upper body. Read on to find out how you can make “good posture,” second nature.
Finding your ideal target weight
Chiropractic and weight loss are two subjects that overlap and influence one another. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the daily burden on the spine and prevents many of the deleterious spinal conditions that come with age and natural wear and tear, considerably increasing the efficacy of chiropractic treatment. But how does chiropractic influence weight loss? Chances are, you are already aware of an ideal target weight. But getting yourself there can feel overwhelming- where to start?
Flexibility and range of motion are the first things to go with age. When we are young, we take everything for granted: how could tying your shoelace cause you pain? As we grow older, seemingly harmless motions can contribute to a vicious cycle of pain. While pain limits motion, limited motion can lead to injury, and this is a cycle that many Americans are led into by jobs that require long hours in front of the computer. At Holmes Chiropractic, we want you to rediscover the joys of having a full range of motion Below are just a few of the benefits you can enjoy from a more flexible body:
- Confidence that regular motion will not create pain.
- Better athletic performance
- Better posture
- Longer connective tissues and muscles
- Prevention of injury
The holidays shouldn’t be a stressful time of year
Yet for many of us they are- the pressures of money and social commitments on top of an already overburdened schedule can push us to the tipping point. If this describes you, and you want to prevent yourself from tipping, the only response is to take control of stress reduction. There are many ways to do this- one of our favorites is a tech break. Phones, computers and tablets seem so necessary in today’s society. But there was a time not long ago when these devices plaid zero role in our lives! And who can say whether we were worse off. While we would never suggest ditching your devices completely, you can manage your screen time more effectively.
Excuses are over
Chances are this post finds you slouching in your chair trying to relieve stiffness that has come from sitting upright in your chair. And while it may feel good in the moment, this is the wrong way to go about things. “But its human nature to seek comfort!” I hear you arguing- to which I have more than a few refutations. To begin with, sitting is not human nature- we were made bipedal for a reason and that was to make us more effective movers. By not moving for 10 hours a day, your body and spine are adjusting to a “new normal,” that is anything but good for you.
Many people buy into the notion of a “magic cure”
Whether it be an aggressive treatment like spinal surgery, or a more conservative one like chiropractic, many people believe that seeking treatment for their back pain will simply make it go away. But when it comes to spinal conditions, there is no panacea or magic bullet. To begin with, pain is a symptom and not a condition; chronic back pain is often linked to a complex network of causative factors that resist even the most vigorous treatment.
Osteoporosis requires proactive care
This disease, most prevalent in our elderly population, is characterized by weakness in the bones which leaves them vulnerable to partial or total breakage. The first step is diagnosing the problem: many people won’t find out they have osteoporosis until they’ve broken a bone. If you suspect you may have osteoporosis, your PCP may need to order a bone density scan which will give use key indicators regarding your bone mineral density. If we determine that you have osteoporosis, it’s time to start being proactive about your condition.
Don’t let your vacation be remembered for back pain and discomfort
If you have a pre-existing spinal condition, chances are that the thought of being in transit doesn’t fill you with joy. The hours of sitting, lack of activity, lack of sleep, and changes in dietary and hydration patterns all conspire to leave your spine in a stiffer and more vulnerable condition. But rather than accepting this lying down, you need to be all the more proactive about taking care of your beleaguered back.