10 Daily Activities That Can Damage Your Spine

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Your body houses the spine which is the foundation that keeps you whole. If our spines were where our face is we would all be taking better care of it regardless of age. We have made a list of activities that will probably damage your spine.

1. Grabbing Heavy Objects:

girl piggy back chiropractic

Your body needs to stretch itself as it reaches for high objects. Now think about what takes place as you grab a heavy box. That box pushes down onto those vulnerable spongey discs. It’s like throwing a bowling ball on a water balloon. Of course in real life, the discs won’t burst the first go. However, with repeated stress, it may one day. High-impact activities with heavy objects add even more stress to the lower back.

How to avoid it

Using a chair or a ladder can help reduce pressure to a small amount. The best placement for the weighted object being carried is at your chest.

2. Carrying Backpacks

heavy backpack chiropractic

Students and the working individual are both engaging in sporting a backpack today. Both are to blame when it comes to over-stuffing their backpacks and carrying them incorrectly. This also smashes the spine and has a degrading impact on the joints.

How to avoid it

There are two straps on a backpack for a reason! To keep the weight distributed evenly you have to use both. For better shock absorption look for soft and wide straps. These will also help with taking the pressure off your neck and back. Here are more backpack safety tips.

3. Tying Shoes

The most amount of load on the discs is in a bent posture. Twisting and bending are the worst for you. Fluids and nutrients escape the discs in a compromised posture. This thins out the disc spaces and they have only one place to go and that is out. The spine only replenishes itself when the load is off when you are sleeping. Do not put your back under any unnecessary, avoidable stress.

How to avoid it

Pull your leg up while seated to tie your shoes. Never have a crouched, or standing and bending position.

4. Washing Floors

One a week and maybe even daily for bigger households, we are cleaning our space. We are brutally torturing our spines as we bend and twist our backs towards hard to reach places on our floors. Also, being on our hands and knees closes down bigger joints causing poor circulation into our extremities.

How to avoid it

Use a broom or mop to clean the floors. This will help keep a more upright posture while being just as effective.

5. Carrying Grocery Bags

Your spine will thank you for spending a couple more cents on an extra bag. Carrying one heavy bag will cause un-leveling of the back and pelvis putting more pressure on the spine.

How to avoid it

It’s important to always practice hip hinging technique and lifting with your legs by bending the knees. For comparison, heavy weight for men is considered 11 pounds or more while for women it is 5 pounds or more. Furthermore, make sure weight is distributed evenly in both hands.

6. Replacing the Tires

Almost every other car owner has had to change a tire during the lifetime of their car. It also happens to be one of those times most people notice their back pain even more.

How to avoid it

Start by getting on the ground at the level of the fender. Do not try and bend over to the wheel as it is not a quick job and you may experience back pain.

7. Driving Long Distances

Going on long car rides for business or pleasure may put extra pressure on the back. Most car seats are not made for good posture. Also, it is not an easy fix if the driving is required.

How to avoid it

If possible try and take stretch breaks. If you can’t its important to have a nice warm-up routine before and after the long ride. It’s important to not only stretch the back but also the neck. Sometimes extra focus while driving can cause forward head posture putting extra stress on the neck.

8. Washing your Face

washing face back pain

Depending on our bathroom situation, being bent over a sink is not uncommon. This partially bent position and outward reaching hands puts stress on the upper back. The discs between the vertebrae of the thoracic spine get worn out, which eventually leads to pain between the shoulder blades.

How to avoid it

Having a stool or chair at the level of the knee helps keep an upright position. The knee would be bent resting on the stool. This also keeps the pelvis well balanced. If one leg gets tired you can switch the stool to the other side for moments of longer standing.

9. Brushing your Teeth

Upon waking our backs may not be warmed up enough to hold our bodies upright, or maybe in the evenings our bodies may be too tired. Brushing our teeth on a lower sink when our discs are most vulnerable may not be for the best.

How to avoid it

We can off set the pressure delivered to our spine by using our hands to hold the wall or sing, especially when brushing.

10. Sitting at your Desk

Sitting is the new smoking. This is the new school of thought as research has shown it takes time from life. Sitting is a disease and sitting kills are other accusations against this choice of lifestyle. Since sitting for some professions is inevitable, what can we do to combat the sedentary lifestyle that we are confined to?

How to avoid it

If you don’t have access to a sit-stand desk at your job, you may still have a chance to protect your spine. Consider these options:

  • You can stand at a higher table or counter while working.
  • Walk and talk with coworkers rather than having your meetings in a conference room.
  • Taking stretch breaks every 30-45 minutes by reminding yourself through a timer.
  • Stand up and talk to coworkers or take a walk to grab a glass of water.
  • Pocket some extra steps by parking your car further from your work entrance.
  • Use part of your lunchtime for a brisk walk.
  • Undo the stress of sitting with regular chiropractic care.

To get to the root cause of pain and discomfort, schedule an initial consultation, including a comprehensive evaluation and first treatment.

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