Adjust your posture and alignment while sitting
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time, as it puts a significant amount of stress on your neck and back, leading to pain.
- Get up every hour to move around and stretch.
- Sit in ergonomic chair while working or put a pillow behind your lower back.
- Put a step stool under your feet to help stay in alignment.
Destress your neck and back while sleeping
- Sleep on a medium firm mattress.
- Sleep on your side or back with a pillow between your legs to reduce pressure on the spine.
- Use only one pillow under your head to be sure your neck is in line with your back.
Exercise your core regularly
- Stretch every day to prevent tightness of your spine muscles.
- Engage in daily aerobic exercise such as walking and core stability exercises to keep your spine strong
Monitor your diet
- Research has shown that anti-inflammatory diets ( i.e., Mediterranean Diet) help reduce body and spine inflammation and can reduce chronic pain.
- Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish and healthy fats.
Practice meditation/deep breathing – The Mind Body Connection
- The relationship between your mind and your spine is well established.
- Take time to meditate, do deep breathing exercises, go to yoga or Tai Chi classes; research shows it can help reduce chronic back pain.
Wear supportive shoes
- It is important to support your spine from the foundation of your feet; wear shoes, sneakers and even sandals that have good arch supports to keep your spine in line. Flat and unsupportive footwear promotes faulty foot mechanics, that can often result in mechanical stress to your spine.
David J. BenEliyahu, DC, FICC
Administrative Director, Back Neck Pain Center at Mather Hospital