Belvidere Chiropractic Center Belvidere New Jersey Family Chiropractor Dr Jon Heins

What Can You Do to Take Better Care of Your Spine ?

FAQ-3If you happened to have read my last Frequently Asked Question post I mentioned that back in January, I started an on going Frequently Asked Questions series. And after a break from it in April and May, three weeks ago, I posted the Frequently Asked Question: Should You Be Wearing A Back Brace?
Since my staff and I get a lot of questions from either our existing patients or people calling or e-mailing us through our contact page and we are happy to answer them for you. However, since many of you have the same or similar questions I have decided to write some posts on some of the more common questions we frequently get on a day to day basis about Chiropractic Care in general and the services we provide here at Belvidere Chiropractic Center and since we get a lot of questions about what people should or shouldn’t be doing in order to take better care of their spines, I went ahead and listed below 10 Do’s and Don’ts.

  1. Always stand as erect as possible, with your shoulders, back and your head centered directly over the spine.
  2. Try to sit in the same manner, erect with head over the spine. Do not sit with your legs crossed, except at the ankles.
  3. When you lift try to bend from your knees and not from your back, keeping your back straight at all times. Hold the weight close to your body as you carry it (you can watch my previous video post : How to Lift Properly to Reduce Back Injuries for more information on this).
  4. You must have a good firm mattress to sleep on with no lumps or sags, as one third of your life is spent in bed.
  5. Never sleep on your stomach. Sleep on your back or side instead. When on your back, lie flat with a pillow under your head and neck and a pillow under your knees. Do not sleep with more than one pillow under your head. Your neck should not be pushed up so that your chin moves down toward your chest. A pillow should support your neck according to its natural curve, allowing your head to rest in a neutral position.
  6. When you sleep on your side, support your head and neck so your spine will remain in a straight line as you are viewed from the front. Your legs should be at a 30 to 45 degree angle and not drawn up in a knot. You may feel more comfortable with a pillow between your knees to keep your pelvis from being tilted.
  7. Do not use a regular foam pillow. A shaped cervical pillow or a feather pillow is best.
  8. Do not rest on a couch with your head propped on the arm rest.
  9. No reading in bed, neither propped on your elbows, nor lying flat.
  10. In ordinary cases, Do not lift over 50 pounds.

Remember, your spine is the central support structure of your body. You must respect this structure so that it will give you strong, flexible service for a long time to come.

Your spine also carries your neurological lifeline from the brain to all the other parts of your body. The functional health of your body depends on the flow of an unrestricted nervous system. When your spine suffers, your overall health can suffer too.

I hope you enjoy this continual FAQ series and would love it if you could suggest any other future FAQ’s simply by either, leaving a comment below, sending an e-mail via this site’s contact page, or by contacting through Twitter.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN or YouTube.

9 Responses to What Can You Do to Take Better Care of Your Spine ?
  1. Dan Spinato
    July 2, 2011 | 11:39 am

    I couldn’t have enumerated these tips any better!

    • Dr Jon P Heins
      July 2, 2011 | 5:28 pm

      Dr. Spinato: thanks for the compliment. I’m glad you liked the post.

  2. Dan Spinato
    July 25, 2011 | 11:48 am

    The spine isn’t called the backbone for nothing, it holds and balances everything together. This is a really helpful article, please do keep ’em coming!

  3. Phoenix Chiropractor
    August 4, 2011 | 8:50 am

    # 5 is even difficult for me. Everyone is different in how they like to sleep…or feel most comfortable sleeping. The rest of these sound like pretty good suggestions. Thanks!

    • Dr Jon P Heins
      August 4, 2011 | 3:35 pm

      Dr. Lehew: Thanks again for your comment however, I respectfully disagree with your opinion since sleeping on your stomach forces the neck into rotation and extension this eventually causes damage to the joints and discs in the cervical spine as well as the delicate nerves in the area. Which then causes negative effects on your overall health. After all: what one ‘likes’, ‘feels’, and ‘is most comfortable’ is a poor way to judge one’s health. After all your health is the most important thing you own so every attempt should be made to keep it. Even if it takes a lot effort to change a bad habit which always is uncomfortable at first but, will have far greater overall positive effects later on. Wouldn’t you agree?

  4. Damien
    August 16, 2011 | 2:27 pm

    Does sleeping on your stomach affect your spine?

    • Dr Jon P Heins
      August 16, 2011 | 4:33 pm

      Damien: To answer your question, yes sleeping on your stomach negatively affects your spine and consequently your overall health. As I already mentioned in my previous reply to Dr. Lehew’s comment, sleeping on your stomach forces your neck into a prolonged state of rotation and extension which will eventually cause damage to the joints and discs in the cervical spine and the delicate nerves in the area.

  5. Brad
    October 9, 2011 | 2:46 am

    Hello Dr. Heins, I was just wondering how would you treat a person with BPPV? What kind of exercise would you recommend him/her at home? or to the DO’s pointed out above? Thank you.

    • Dr Jon P Heins
      October 9, 2011 | 1:02 pm

      Brad I ‘treat’ cases of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo the same as I would any other patient. First, we’d sit down and discuss their particular case in order to get a proper history of their particular condition and a good understanding of how it is affecting their life. Then we’d determine what exactly is causing their condition and whether theirs is even a chiropractic case or not and what kind of condition they are in. Once all that is done, and I correlate all that information, then I can determine what we can or can’t do to help, if we can help, a detailed care plan of treatments, specific goals, objectives, and time frames (including specific exercises given at the proper time) is then recommended in order to correct what is causing their particular problem. If we can’t help, then the patient is then referred to someone we know, trust, and believe might be able to help them get the care they need.

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