There are 24 vertebrae, plus the sacrum and coccyx that make up the spine. Nerves from the spinal cord pass between the vertebrae, and they in turn send thousands of branches to every part of our body. These are the nerves that carry impulses (messages) to the millions of cells throughout the body. In affect they are the lines of communication between the brain and the cells. Spinal health is what we will be discussing. Maintaining a healthy spine for a Chiropractor is the number one priority. First you must get to know your body. This means that you have to be aware of the way we sit, stand, walk, sleep, and how we perform our daily activities, both at work and play.
Starting with a good night’s sleep will set you up for a pleasant day. Use a good firm mattress, but not one that is extremely hard as to prevent your body from it’s proper contouring to your body form. It should maintain your spine in a straight line. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your head and neck, but be sure you do not sleep with your shoulders on the pillow. Another pillow placed under your knees is advisable. When turning on your side, make sure the pillow for your head and neck is thick enough (bunch up your pillow if necessary) to support your head in a straight line, so as not to let your head sink lower than the rest of your spine. Also place the pillow you had under your knees, between your knees. Do not sleep on your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach will place too much stress on your neck.
People who sleep on their stomach also have a tendency to keep one arm above their head, which in all probability is apt to cause future shoulder problems. If you are on ‘Doctor’s Senior Exercise’ program, or any other exercise program, be sure to do a little stretching before you start your exercises. If you are on an exercise’ program, you do the stretching before you do any of the exercises. When you have finished your exercises, stretch a little more, then go and have a small glass of juice before you continue with your next exercises. It will give you a little energy boost. When you have finished the remaining exercises, stretch again, and you are now ready to start the day. The whole program will take only 15 to 20 minutes. Start an exercise program slowly at first and gradually build up the repititons so as to prevent misshaps to the body structures. We discussed all the safe precautions we should take to keep us from having all manner of accidents.
Getting in and out of the car is important in preventing sudden injuries and strains to the back. Back into the seat, placing your backside on the seat, keeping both feet on the ground, then swing both legs in one at a time. The proper driving position will help prevent backache and fatigue. Sitting at the wheel, your seat should give you the proper support for your back. If your car does not have an adjustable lumbar support, you can purchase a back hugger pillow, which will give you the needed support so that there isn’t any strain on the lumbar area of your back.
If your seat is overly soft and is not giving the needed support, then you may want to consider using a special seat to sit on. Do not keep your left arm on the car door for any length of time. Do keep your hands at the 4 and 8 o’clock position on your wheel. That will not only prevent undue strain on your back and shoulders, but it can help prevent serious injuries should your Air Bag inflate for any reason.