Back In Action
Making Chiropractic Adjustments Last
Suggestions, tips, and ideas to help you make the most out of your chiropractic treatments.
Have you recently been to see the chiropractor? Are you starting to notice some positive changes in your health? Many people wonder what steps they can take to make their chiropractic adjustments last as long as possible. Here are some suggestions to help you get the most out of your chiropractic treatments.
Protect your skeleton after your chiropractic adjustment. Avoid wearing a heavy purse. Use both shoulder straps when wearing a backpack. Don’t sit down with a thick wallet in your back pocket. Be mindful when getting in and out of cars.
Use a supportive pillow for your neck while you sleep. If you don't want to purchase a new pillow, you can roll up a towel and place it behind your head / under your neck for support.
Take steps to improve your posture when standing. Keep your head at midline (don’t tilt it to the side or angle it forward for long periods). Keep your shoulders back. Avoid wearing shoes that are worn out. Don’t wear flip flops if you know you’re going to be doing a lot of walking that day.
Take steps to improve your posture when sitting. Face forward so that the object you are looking at is directly in front of you. When possible, sit in a chair that provides support for your back. Avoid crossing your legs. Try not to hunch forward when using your phone or mobile device. Get up and stretch / move around from time to time.
Set your health as a priority. Over the years, we’ve treated patients who don’t even blink about spending $6,000 on their pet dog/cat when it comes to their fur baby’s health. Yet, they hesitate to invest even $400 in their own health. What’s wrong with this picture? If you become hurt or injured, who will take care of your pet animal? There are other people who spend tens of thousands of dollars purchasing and maintaining a vehicle (that they will one day sell or trade in for another car), but who won’t invest time and money to safeguard and protect their skeleton and nervous system. When you make your own health a priority, your body will function better and your joints will last longer without wearing out.
Maintain good sleep habits. Your mattress should be supportive, yet comfortable. Use a pillow that supports your neck. Sleep either on your back or on your side. If you find yourself frequently sleeping on your stomach, it’s often an indication that your spine needs checked and adjusted by a chiropractor.
Remember proper stretching. Our patients are usually pretty good about warming up before they exercise at the gym or go for a run. However, one thing that we’ve been noticing is that they often forget to warm up before gardening, yard work, and household chores (such as mopping, washing the car, or tidying the garage). Projects that are done around the house often take longer than expected. It’s always a good idea to stretch and warm up your muscles first.
Be mindful when bending or lifting. Never lift a heavy object when you are tired or distracted. If you must move furniture, get help from a friend. Don’t lift and twist at the same time (it’s never a good combination).
Maintain a healthy diet. Eat like an athlete. Eat well-balanced meals to provide energy for your body to function and repair itself. Avoid eating late at night. Keep some healthy snacks available (one’s that you enjoy eating!) at home and at work. Understand how weight gain can affect your posture, breathing, heart, joints, and spine.
Don’t reach for your mobile phone the moment you wake up. We’ve been noticing more and more people doing this and injuring their necks. Here’s what happens: they are barely awake and reflexively reach for their mobile device which is on the nightstand. Their neck, back, and shoulder muscles haven’t warmed up yet. They feel a sudden sharp pain in either their neck or upper back. Their muscles spasm and won’t unclench. Although this is difficult, try to condition yourself to sit up and move your neck and shoulders around for second or two before reaching for the phone.
Get adequate rest. Your body needs rest in order to repair itself and prepare itself for the next day. Your mind also needs rest so it can focus and not become easily distracted. (It is so much easier to avoid injuries when your mind is sharp and you are aware of what’s happening around you.)
Try to limit stress. Stress can interfere with digestion and blood circulation. It can also cause your shoulders to tighten so that they end up nearly touching your ears. Focus your thoughts on things that are positive. Limit exposure to toxic people. Don’t read / watch the news before bed. Spend time with friends and loved ones.
Be on a wellness schedule for chiropractic. Speak with your chiropractor about being placed on a wellness / maintenance schedule that focuses on keeping you healthy, mobile, and strong. This will help with your posture and can also reduce the likelihood of you developing tech-neck, texter’s thumb, carpal tunnel syndrome, tension headaches, and low back pain. When you see a chiropractor several times a year, you will notice that your adjustments last longer, enabling you to feel better for an extended period of time.
Use a seat belt. If your vehicle is forced to stop suddenly, you will be more protected against a whiplash injury that can affect the symmetry and alignment of your spine.
Remember that smoking, alcohol, and excessive caffeine can slow down the body’s healing process. Cut back on or avoid substances that interfere with your health.
Check your work-space and home environment. How many hours a week do you spend sitting in an office chair? Make sure your chair provides good support. Check the ergonomics of your computer keypad and mouse. Is your monitor directly in front of you? Is your computer mouse at a comfortable distance? How supportive is your couch at home?
Be comfortable during your commute to and from work. Does the seat in your car fit you correctly? Do you need extra support for your low back? Make adjustments to the side mirrors and rear view mirror to enable you to see surrounding traffic with minimal head rotation.
Speak with your chiropractor to see if they have additional thoughts or suggestions so that you can truly get the most out of your adjustments. A little bit of effort can go a long way toward you seeing lasting results.