January 25, 2010
Occasionally there are simple solutions for seemingly endless back pain. The first step is to be aware of your posture and body mechanics throughout the day and night.
Here are some common habits that may cause misalignment, weakness, and injury:
- Sleeping positions: Sleeping on the back is the best position for alignment of the spine. Try to sleep on your back, and If you just can't, then sleep on your side. When side-sleeping, keep your knees and shoulders stacked on top of each other. Shoulder and low back pain often results from the top shoulder or leg stretching far forward and pulling muscles and your spine out of whack. Avoid sleeping on your stomach! Stomach sleeping causes low back pain and twists the neck all night.
- Standing: Like your dominant hand, you have a dominant leg. Notice when you stand if you tend to put most of your weight on one leg. Low back pain usually presents on the leg that is not being stood on. Pay attention and try to keep your weight equal, or switch back and forth.
- Sitting: Keep those knees lined up. That is a good sign that your pelvis is lined up too. Again with the dominant leg, pay attention to which leg you cross more often. (Crossing your legs is bad for your knees in general.)
- Walking: Look at the bottom of an old pair of shoes. See if they are worn down unevenly. If you wear down the outside of your shoes first you need to focus on rolling all the way through your big toes as you walk.
- Stretching: You should only stretch warm muscles, so stretch during or after exercise. You should not stretch an injured muscle. Most injuries are caused by an over-stretched muscle. Let your muscles heal and just do light movement and strengthening exercises when injured.
- Continue reading Part 2 to learn more about keeping your back healthy and find out who are the best Physical Therapists in Birmingham.