These simple movements or daily routines can end up hurting you if you're not careful. Make sure to do these simple activities the right way as outlined below:
Posture. Posture. Posture. Make sure that you keep your chin up and don't slouch. If you know that you are going to be standing for a long period of time, make sure that you wear comfortable shoes. Avoid locking out your knees, they should be slightly bent. Shoulders back and engage your abdominals for added spinal support. Try not to cross your arms.
Working at a Desk
Make sure that you are getting up every 20 minutes to stretch. The type of chair you have is extremely important. It should fit you correctly so that your back touches the chair and your feet are on the floor with knees at a 90 degree angle. Try to avoid looking down at your computer screen. It should be at eye level.
Make sure you have a chair that is supportive. When you are forced to sit for a long period of time, for instance at a desk job, make sure to get up and stretch every 20 minutes. Sit with your back against the chair, feet firmly on the floor. Do not cross your legs. A lumbar cushion is strongly recommended to avoid slouching and helping to maintain your spinal curve.
Lifting objects is one of the most common ways to injure yourself. Even if it is a light object, twisting or pulling in the wrong direction when you're not stretched out can have a damaging effect on muscles and the spine. You always want to bend at the knees and avoid lifting anything you know is too heavy. Twisting or rotating your spine while lifting heavy objects is a sure fire way to increase your risk of injury. Try to avoid this by turning your whole torso together; shoulders with the hips!
Overall Physical Activity
If you know that you are going to be working or playing for a while, make sure that you are adequately warmed up. Even if it's something light like gardening or just pushing your child on a bike, it's easy to pull something if you're not warmed up. Listen to your body, if a position is uncomfortable, take breaks or try to engage another muscle group to take off some of the pressure. Pain is NOT always gain! Remember that!
Talking or Texting On The Phone
If you're forced to use the telephone for a long period of time, a speaker or a headset is a must. By all means try to avoid cradling the phone between your neck and your shoulder as this could cause you to damage the muscles or vertebrae in that area. When texting, try to hold your phone up in front of you so that your head doesn't need to be facing way down, this can lead to a condition we refer to as text-neck. Look it up. It can force your neck to be supporting up to 40 pounds of pressure when you take gravity into account. Ouch.
Resting or Sleeping
Straining your neck or back while you're sleeping is a very common occurrence. We often fall asleep in strange positions where we are not supported properly or our necks are at an odd angle. Make sure that if you are going to nap or watch tv in bed, that you are in a supportive position.
Try to position yourself so that your neck and body are in a neutral position when viewing the television. Think less side-lean and stay away from spinal rotation! Avoid turning or tilting your neck to watch for extended periods. Positioning of furniture will play a large role in your ability to do this. Choose your seat wisely! Overly soft couches or recliners keep business booming over here at our office. When your back is bothering you, it is suggested by our Chiropractors that you move your kitchen chair (or other supported chair such as a computer or desk chair) into the living room to avoid the slump and slouch on your mid to lower back that most soft couches and recliners will provide. Be sure it has a seat cushion and perhaps a small pillow or lumbar cushion for your lower back to make it more comfortable.