We live in a world where we’re constantly in a hurry, juggling multiple tasks and carrying our belongings with us everywhere. And this can have serious consequences on your back health. In fact, back pain sends more patients to doctors than any condition other than the common cold.1 Here are some common activities that negatively impact Canadian’s back health and you can fix them.
|Scenario||How to fix it|
|Commuting: just like sitting at your desk, hunching over your steering wheel can cause your muscles to tighten, curving your back. Over time this can result in long-term lower back problems. This is important for the 15.4 million Canadians who commute to keep in mind.||How to fix it: be sure to sit at a 90-degree angle and don’t fully extend your legs. Move your seat up to allow yourself to sit up straight. Adjust your lumbar to fit your back, and if it’s not enough support, try rolling up a towel to help decrease stress on your lower back.|
|Work-life: did you know sitting puts 40 percent more pressure on your spine than standing? It’s important to remember your posture especially when you’ve had a long day at your desk.||How to fix it: practice ‘active sitting’ with your feet flat on the floor in front of you with your back straight, your shoulders squared and chin parallel with the floor. Ensure your workspace is set up to enable frequent breaks from sitting, getting up at least once each hour can help keep you moving. Consider a sit/stand work station to allow varied working positions.|
Carrying your belongings: when you’re carrying a heavy purse or laptop bag, your shoulders become out of line. This can cause your muscles to ache and can put uneven pressure on your spine.
How to fix it: reduce the number of items you carry with you. Also, consider using a backpack to help distribute the weight of your load evenly across your body. This will help avoid the stress of isolated muscles overcompensating for unevenly distributed weight.
|Improper lifting: you’re not alone if you have strained your back while lifting heavy boxes. Lifting heavy items improperly can put undue pressure on your spine and even cause spinal disc injury.||How to fix it: picture yourself doing the lift before engaging to ensure you’re keeping the object in front of you, your back is straight and you’re lifting with your knees/hips rather than your back.|
If you do experience pain, consult a health care professional to assess your specific needs and identify a course of action that’s right for you. Canada’s chiropractors are committed to helping Canadians be more physically active. A chiropractor can evaluate your strength and flexibility, and screen for anything that may limit your physical activities. Ask your chiropractor for an evaluation.
To find a chiropractor near you, use the chiropractor locator on our website. In Ontario, you can visit a chiropractor without a referral from a doctor, nurse practitioner or other health care professional. If you already have a chiropractor and/or another health care professional, join our Partnership4BetterHealth online patient advisory community. Then, you can share your ideas on how to enhance chiropractic services and make a positive impact on our health care system. It’s confidential, free, and always your choice to participate.
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