Back Tips

10 Tips For Keeping Your Back Healthy

  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Follow a healthy diet
  3. Maintain good posture
  4. Stretch your spine before and after sports
  5. Don’t overload your backpack or shoulder bag
  6. Stretch your legs and back after each hour of sitting
  7. Never cradle the phone between your neck and shoulder
  8. Sleep on you back or side, not on your stomach
  9. Invest in a good chair, pillow, and mattress. It’s worth it!
  10. Have regular spinal check-ups

Below are some other helpful back tips, including golfer’s tips, traveling & comfort, eat the right food, and health & fitness.

Golfer’s Tips

  1. Stretch before and after you do any strengthening exercises. Here are some recommended stretches:
    • Side bending works the muscles on the sides of your back and hips
    • Hip rotation stretches several muscles in your hip, pelvis and thigh region
    • The hamstring stretch works the large muscles at the back of your thighs
    • Back extension helps the muscles that bend your spine backward, while back rotation stretches the muscles that rotate your spine and shoulder muscles
    • The shoulder stretch works shoulders and upper arms
  2. Muscle-strengthening exercises can make your body stronger and more flexible
    • Wrist strength is very important during the impact phase of a golf game
    • Strength in rotating the upper arms in either direction is important throughout the golf swing
    • To improve form and strength in your golf swing, practice good posture by concentrating on using your abdominal and back muscles.
    • Rowing strengthens the muscles of your upper back and shoulders.
    • Pull-downs also work the shoulder and upper-back muscles.
  3. When taking clubs out of your vehicle, bend your knees, slightly curve your spine, and gently lift the golf bag out of the vehicle.
  4. ‘The clubs before the cart’ – Research shows that after one season of weekly golf games that involved walking the golf course, males over fifty significantly decreased their cholesterol count.
    [Source: October 1990 issue of The Physician and Sportsmedicine]
  5. Warm up for your first swing. Make sure you stretch.
  6. Bend your knees and use a golf club for support before stooping for the ball, or when preparing to tee off.
  7. Ensure that you use correct posture and spinal angles when driving and putting.
  8. Stretch to cool down after your game.

For more information, set up an appointment with Beaumaris Health Centre today

Travelling & Comfort

More and more Albertans are realizing the benefits of a good holiday, but many travelers find that planes, trains and automobiles can be an uncomfortable and even painful way to start a vacation. Sitting for long periods of time in poorly designed seats or standing in long line ups can lead to back pain and discomfort– not a great way to spend your holiday.

The College of Chiropractors offer some back saving tips to make your holiday travel more enjoyable:

  • If your legs don’t touch the floor when seated, you could strain your back. Place your carry-on luggage or knapsack on the floor and use as a footrest
  • For good lumbar support, bring along a small hand towel and a couple elastic bands. Roll up the towel, secure it with elastics at each end and place behind you in the small of your back. When not in use, the towel can be placed flat in your suitcase, taking up little space. If you’re travelling by air, ask the flight attendant for a pillow and use it in the same fashion.
  • Avoid staying seated for long periods of time. Get up and stretch periodically.
  • Avoid carrying heavy luggage. Use a suitcase with wheels or take advantage of luggage carts at the airport, bus or train terminals.
  • If you’re using a backpack, use both shoulder straps rather than slinging it over one shoulder.
  • Avoid crossing your legs, but do sit with your feet firmly on the floor.
  • When standing in long line ups, be aware of your posture. Stand with feet a shoulder width apart, hips forward, shoulders back and head up.
  • Wear comfortable shoes with good arch support. Floppy boots, high heels or cheap sneakers can lead to foot, leg and back pain.
  • For road trips, ensure that vehicle head rests are in their full, upright positions. This will minimize the risks of whiplash should an impact occur.

Eat the right food

Proper nutrition is especially important to your overall health and functioning.

We all know about getting “five a day” … do your best to increase your intake of raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods that are robbed of their vitamins and minerals. Make sure your body has the nutrients it needs to heal the muscles and soft tissues that support your spine.

Better eating habits will also help you to lose some of those extra pounds – this will reduce the burden on your spinal column and help you to feel more energetic.

For more information, set up an appointment with Beaumaris Health Centre today