Some of the most common injuries that chiropractors deal with on a regular basis are injuries that result from chronic neglect and bad habits. While things like craning your neck to read text messages on your smartphone or slouching in your chair at the office may seem harmless, these actions, when repeated on a daily basis, can slowly lead to a number of chiropractic health issues. While spinal manipulation and other chiropractic approaches can help alleviate pain and relieve tension, they cannot fix the issues entirely if you continue to practice the bad habits that caused the injuries in the first place. It’s the equivalent of taking a step forward every time you see your chiropractor and then taking two steps back each time you leave.
What is the Spine’s Function?
There are 24 movable bones in the human spine that serve two primary functions in our bodies. They allow all of the movements that we do on a daily basis. They serve as an anchor for the movement of our arms, legs and head. The second function is the most important; and that is the protection of the spinal cord. The bones of your neck and back form a protective ring around your spinal cord. Between each of the bones in your neck and back there is an opening that allows the spinal cord to connect to a branch of nerves to supply a part of the body. When you engage in bad habits, you not only make it harder for the bones in your neck and back to move properly, you make yourself vulnerable to spinal cord injuries that can have devastating effects on your health and wellness. Breaking your bad back health habits is essential if you hope to achieve optimum health and eliminate your pain permanently. However, these habits are among some of the hardest to break, because people are seldom aware that they are engaging in them, and many are habits they have had for years.
How to Break Bad Health Habits
The first step toward breaking your bad back health habits is to be conscious of your actions and proactive in everything you do throughout the day. Before you sit down, take a second to remind yourself to sit up straight and not slouch, as bad posture is one of the most common bad habits people have. When you spend time playing on your phone or reading a book, remind yourself to bring the item up to your face level and not to crane or lean your neck to look at it. Retrain yourself to demonstrate proper posture throughout all of your daily activities. While it may feel uncomfortable at first if you are used to years of slouching and craning, with time you will feel a great improvement and it will actually feel far more comfortable to sit up straight than it ever felt to slouch.
Being inactive is another common bad habit that can be hard to break, especially if you have a busy schedule or work in an environment that requires you to sit for long periods of time. Lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle can cause chronic pain and a host of other issues, so make an effort to get up and move as much as possible. Small things like parking at the far end of a parking lot and walking or taking the stairs can help loosen your joints and will provide more exercise than you get just sitting around. Walk a few extra laps when grocery shopping, walk to lunch on your break or make time for a 10 minute jog after work.
A Lifestyle Change Won’t Hurt!
Changing your lifestyle, eliminating bad habits and seeing a chiropractor go hand-in-hand, and together these two adjustments are sure to help alleviate your pain and help you on the path toward a healthy lifestyle.