“Some Things to Avoid if You Want to Maintain a Healthy Back.”

People recognize that the body has a natural ability to heal and they seek ways to increase that ability. When it comes to back pain. You control your body. You can have good control when you pay attention to the messages and information you receive. You can put out fires as soon as they happen and prevent them. Or you can let small problems become big problems. You can make healthy eating, exercising and resting decisions.

Here are a few tips and things to avoid in order to spare your back!

  1. Don’t Sit on your wallet. Bad idea. Sitting on your wallet, even if there’s no money in it, causes a shift in every bone in your spine. Long term, it creates uneven wear and tear on your back. Good idea: Switch it to the front.
  1. Avoid carrying a heavy purse on one side It’s a great way to throw your shoulders out of alignment…Which in turn throws the spine out of alignment. Carrying that heavy purse can cause the trapezius muscle, which sits on top of your shoulders, to spasm and therefore tighten, along with the muscles that go from your shoulder to the base of your neck. “When that happens, it can cause a lot of stiffness in the upper back, the shoulder area and the neck…Try just carrying your wallet or use a small backpack.
  2. Crossing your legs. When you cross your legs. Long timages 10.30.09 amerm doing it day after day, causes stretching of ligaments, and muscles causing asymmetries and misalignment in the spine, hips & pelvis.
  3. Standing with your weight shifted. If you are a long time back pain sufferer, you have probably developed little compensations you do throughout your day to minimize your pain. One such error is putting more weight on one side than the other when you are standing. Keep it even.
  4. Poor lifting techniques. Avoid rounding the back when bending. Try hinging from the hips with a flat back instead. This is a method used by traditional people in non-westernised countries around the world. People who don’t expMango-Vendor-hip-hinging-300x200 copyerience back pain. You used to do it as a baby. You bend from the hips with a straight back and an anteverted pelvis as opposed to a tucked pelvis. You can find some information on this technique here : http://www.gokhalemethod.com
  5. Hunched Shoulders. Hunching your shoulders creates all sorts of problems. It inhibits circulation and pinches nerves and arteries that run down the arms. It causes the pelvis to tuck, which creates an unhealthy pelvic position and compresses spinal discs. It can cause the neck to protrude, which can lead to kyphosis or Dowager’s hump. Rolling your shoulders back one at a time while you sit or stand will help you keep the chest open and improve your lung capacity and breathing. When you do this try not to sway the back and stick your chest out. There should be a slight arch in your lower back where the lumbar meets the sacrum not in the upper lumbar and thoracic area.
  6. Sitting in a seat with your knees above your hips. If your knees are slightly higher than your hips it will cause you to tuck your pelvis. Which in turn causes you to compress your discs. Not what you want. Try to sit with your knees below your hips. You can use a pillow to help achieve this or sit on the edge of your chair with your legs slightly externally rotated out and angled downward.
  7. Sleeping on your stomach. It is best to sleep on your back. You can use a pillow under your knees if you have tight hamstrings. Second best option is to sleep on your side. Sleeping on your stomach speeds up the process of developing lower back problems.
  8. Lifting and twisting. The combination of lifting something and twisting at the same time puts stress on the discs in your lower back. Best to get closer to your subject and move your whole body hinging from the hips with a straight back.

I hope that you find these tips helpful to your health and well-being! Michelle 🙂

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About Michelle Ball

I am a massage therapist and Gokhale Method® Teacher I do Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage simply for this reason- "It is the most relaxing massage that I have ever received and in turn, it is what I want to share with others." Lomi Lomi involves long rhythmic strokes as well as deep work relaxing the body, mind and spirit on all levels. I thoroughly love giving this massage. I am also a Gokhale Method Teacher. This method is based on the Book "8 Steps to a Pain Free Back" by Esther Gokhale. Primal Posture™ and alignment for Pain-Free living. After discovering this method for myself, it wasn't enough for me to just do massage. I wanted to teach people how they could help themselves when they are off of my table. Many of my clients suffer from chronic or acute pain. It is one thing for me to help people by applying external forces. But it is another to help empower them to help themselves lead a pain-free life 24/7. The Gokhale Method® teaches you how to lengthen strengthen and align your body enabling a pain-free life everyday! It doesn't involve a lot of exercises or gadgets. It incorporates improved movements that you use while sitting, standing, sleeping and walking. Doing daily movements in a way that promotes health and well being as opposed to promoting arthritic conditions, disc degeneration or worse. It is based on posture that you had as a little kid, on cultures where people don't experience back pain and on our ancestors. It is old/new information that we have forgotten how to use put together in an easy to follow, comprehensive way. Gokhale Method inspires you to think that there is something you can do for yourself to help treat your symptoms of pain. I encourage you to look into it further on www.gokhalemethod.com or contact me with any questions.
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