The average human spends around 1/3 of his or her life sleeping. Sleep is the time when our body regenerates, and in the case of your muscles and bones, realign and rest in preparation for the new day.
That’s where things go wrong. Because of habit, environment, or other physical factors, many of us choose sleeping positions that actually contribute to stress and strain on our muscles, particularly in the upper body.
“Eighty percent of the population will have back problems at some point in [their] lives oftentimes caused or aggravated by the way they sleep,” Dr. Hooman Melamed, an orthopedic spine surgeon at the DISC Sports & Spine Center in Los Angeles, Calif.,
There’s a reason that lower back pain is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting Americans. More than 80% of us have it at least once in our life. More women suffer from chronic back pain than men. Older-age adults are more susceptible to back pain than younger adults or children.
The bones and muscles in your back work hard to keep you upright and serve as pivot points for everything from running to grabbing the pen you’ve dropped on the floor. Turns out there are some very common ways to mess your back up. Knowing these helps be proactive to avoid the pain before it’s too late, or, at least, recognize a possible cause of back pain if (and when) you get it.
1. Don’t take your eyes and fingers off your smartphone–ever. Today’s always-connected lifestyle is creating new problems with more aches and pains in shoulders, necks and backs. Look around. See anyone else hunching over thumb-scrolling for many minutes at a time? The research is growing about the impact all the poor posture created by mobile device use is having on all of us.
The solution: Limit the time you spend on any hand-held electronic device to no more than 15 minutes without a break. Sit up straight and don’t hunch over when you’re texting. Keep your elbows at a 90 degree angle.Watch the screen time on your laptop or desktop computer, too. Take breaks at least every 45 minutes for at least 2 minutes per break. Continue reading “Seven Ways to Mess Up Your Back”
Feet are complex, with 1/4 of the bones in your body located there (26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons & ligaments). Women tend to have 4 times more foot problems (thanks, largely, from walking in high heeled shoes).
Speaking of walking, it is the best exercise for your feet, and we walk a lot. The average person will walk around 115,000 miles in a lifetime. That’s about 8-10,000 steps a day. It’s no wonder that 75% of Americans will experience foot problems at least once in their life.
The wonders and benefits of foot massage
Continue reading “Why Foot Massage Feels So Good”
Over time, gravity and bad habits can take their toll on your body and try to declare victory over the structural muscles that keep our bones and muscles aligned. The result is poor posture.
Classic signs of poor posture include rounded shoulders, a jutted chin, a pot belly, bent knees when standing or walking, back pain, muscle fatigue, and headaches. While we can’t fight gravity, we can take control of posture and do things the help keep muscles strong and your body trained for better posture.
1 Know what good posture looks like. Check yourself out in a mirror. Good posture while standing is a straight back, squared shoulders, chin up, chest out, stomach in, feet forward, your hips and knees in a neutral position. If you can draw a straight line from your earlobe through your shoulder, hip, knee, to the middle of your ankle, you’re good!
2 Sit up straight. Your mom was right. Use a chair that offers lower back support and sit all the way back against the back of the chair. Keep both feet on the ground or footrest. Adjust the height so your arms are flexed at 75-90 degrees at the elbow. Use this technique when driving, too! Continue reading “Six Ways to Improve Your Posture”