October 16th is World Spine Day (WSD). On this day every year, those across the globe, within the health care community, various political decision makers and general public, gather to raise awareness about spinal health and spine disorders. The theme for the 2015 edition of WSD is, “Your Back at Work.” The theme surrounds the prevention, education and management of spine disorders in the workplace.
The Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors (ACAC) will be celebrating WSD all through the month of October. We’ve decided, why stop at protecting your back at work? We’ll be discussing protecting your back in all aspects of life: work, home and at play. This installment will be the first in a three-part series. Watch for more blogs as the month continues.
Part I: Protecting Your Back at Home
You may not think it, but your home could be a breeding ground for back problems. Back or front yard maintenance, taking out the garbage or painting the kids’ room and other seemingly harmless activities could be the reason that nagging pain.
Causes of back pain around the house
There could be number of reasons your back hurts from doing things around the house, but the most common could be force. Force is generally considered to be the most obvious way of damaging your back. Lifting, pushing or pulling heavy things around the house with too much force, can easily damage your back.
Even just standing or sitting around the house could cause back pain believe it or not. Your posture could be the reason your back is sore as well. Slouching tends to exaggerate the back’s natural curves, which can lead to muscle fatigue. It seems your mom wasn’t telling you to always sit up straight just for appearance sake.
How to prevent back pain at home
Stretching will go a long way to protecting your back around the house, especially in the morning. As soon as your alarm buzzes, try getting up and doing a series of stretches (like the ones seen in the Straighten Up Alberta program). This is needed because when you sleep, the body shifts blood from the back to important organs in order to keep them ticking overnight. So, when you wake up, the lack of blood flow to the spine makes it vulnerable to strains.
Lifting things, whether they be your purse, grocery bags or the old couch that just has to go, is inevitable. Everyone has to lift something at some point in their daily lives. It’s your lifting technique that will be key in protecting you back when lifting relatively heavy or awkwardly shaped objects. Ideally, heavy objects should be lifted via a technique called the squat lift. This is where, with your back relatively straight, the knees should be bent so that low back stress is minimized. While this may not seem as easy or natural as simply bending forward at the waist, it significantly minimizes the lower spinal stress. Keeping your feet spread wide part and keeping the object you are lifting as close to you as possible are also good tips.
Back pain caused by seemingly simple tasks around the house is not something you should just simply accept either. Visiting a chiropractor is a good idea for even what may seem like a harmless, nagging pain. That nagging pain could be the lasting effects of an injury you got from doing something more strenuous. Your chiropractor will assess your pain and decide the best and most effective way to treat it.
More information, including where to find a chiropractor near you, can be found at www.albertachiro.com.