Tips to Improve Bone and Joint Health
Doctors of Chiropractic have long emphasized the importance of spinal health, posture and other lifestyle factors in the body's ability to function properly. In my Saratoga Springs practice I urge my patients to take steps to prevent musculoskeletal problems before the negatively impact their lives. I would like to offer the following advice to help improve and maintain your bone and joint health.
At the Office
Make sure your chair fits correctly. Choose and ergonomic chair that has support for your lumbar spine. Raise or lower you seat so that when sitting with feet flat on the floor, you knees are at a 90 degree angle.
Take periodic stretch breaks. While sitting turn you upper torso all the way to the left, hold a few seconds and repeat to your right.
When you wash dishes, open the cabinet beneath the sink, bend one knee and put you foot on the shelf under the sink.
When resting or watching TV on the sofa, do not use the sofa arm as a pillow. The angle is much to sharp for the neck.
Do not bend at the waist when you lift a child, laundry or groceries. Squat with your back straight. Keep the load close to you and use your legs and arms to lift.
In the Yard
If you shovel snow, push the snow straight ahead. Do not try to throw it or walk it to the snowbank. Avoid twisting and turning motions.
When raking make piles small to decrease the possibility of back strain. Take frequent breaks to stretch out your back.
Weeding can be especially hard on your elbow joints. Take periodic breaks to stretch your wrists and arms. Rotate your hands 10 circles in and 10 circles out. Place your hands in a praying position and squeeze together for 10 seconds and then "pray" with the backs of your hands together, fingers pointed downward for 10 seconds.
While I suggest you follow these tips for better musculoskeletal health, remember that good spinal health is but one component in a healthy lifestyle. Exercising, getting a good night's sleep and eating a nutritious diet contribute not only to better health but also to the ability to heal after an injury.