New Year, New You! Better Back Health in 2012
By Lauren Stone
Congratulations, as we’ve progressed through the stress of the holiday season and embarked upon a whole new year! With the month of January here in full swing, new year resolutions are running ramped as well. Many resolve to quit smoking, lose weight or perhaps kick the caffeine habit, while others focus on more of a health-related resolution, such as working on better posture, both sitting and standing.
Here are some helpful tips to encourage a straighter spine:
Helpful Hint #1: Self-Awareness
One of the greatest first steps to an improved posture is becoming aware of your own. Being mindful of how you stand in line at the grocery store or how you sit in the driver’s seat on the way home from a stressful workday may not only surprise you but encourage you to work on the positioning of your neck, shoulders and back. It’s amazing how a little shoulder slouch can brew negative effects on both physical and mental body. So perk up a bit and walk a little straighter when your mind crosses that thought.
Helpful Hint #2: Invest in a supportive pillow
With the right “tools,” anything is possible. Take a moment next time you make the bed or get ready to turn in for the night; evaluate the structure of the pillow, whether it sinks down to the mattress or may be as stiff as a board. That certainly does not sound comfortable so it may be time to invest in a new style of support for the upper body.
Dr. John Schubbe of SpineHealth.com recommends trading in the old model for a more supportive version; “It is a very comforting feeling to have just the right pillow to rest an achy, tired body on. In addition to providing comfort, the right pillows can also provide the necessary support for the neck and spine-alleviating or preventing many common forms of back and neck pain. The use of a pillow while sleeping has two main functions: Support and comfort. From a physical perspective, pillows prop up the head, neck and shoulders-keeping them in alignment, relieving pressure and counterbalancing the points in the body. From a more subjective perspective, pillows create a feeling of comfort, which aids in getting a good night’s sleep and feeling well rested.” We have a great assortment of supportive pillows.
Helpful Hit #3: If your bed pillow is in good shape, take a moment to evaluate your bed mattress
Your bed pillow may be supporting your upper body just fine, but how is your lower or even the rest of your body feeling each morning as you wake? Have you noticed stiffness in one certain area? Does one side of the body tend to feel more tension than the other? If you notice this or any type of numbness or tingling sensation, it may be time to invest in a better supportive mattress or mattress topper. Just as important as it is for a properly aligned neck and back, the entire spine, legs, knees and ankles shouldn’t be left out either. Proper alignment of the lower body is just as crucial for a healthy, full-night’s rest. Fortunately, there are less-expensive alternatives than being forced to invest in a costly mattress and box-spring; options like specially crafted mattress tops to even an ergonomically sound full body pillow can bring such a difference to your nighttime regime.
Take time to incorporate these helpful hints into the new year. Your body and mind will thank you unconditionally!