As chiropractors, we’re always talking to our patients about the right stretches and exercises for them to do, but we often forget to discuss what NOT TO DO! Fortunately, I’m here to fill you in on it now, so you can avoid these three things to protect your neck, spine and posture!
#3 Sleeping On Your Stomach Will RUIN Your Neck Long-Term
Why do you think stomach sleeping is so bad? Take a look at that cute little gal in the photo and see how her neck is turned to the left. Imagine it being turned like that for 6-9 hours, every night, for YEARS! It may be ok to sleep on your stomach once, but the problem lies in doing it over and over, which causes micro-trauma throughout the years. The necks natural curve needs to be supported properly while you’re side lying or laying face up to ensure proper long term spinal health.
I’ve heard it time and again from patients “…but Dr. Nichole I’ve always slept on my stomach, how am I going to change it now?” I know you’ve always done it, but you HAVE to change NOW! Of course, initially you’ll still wake up on your stomach, but, when you find yourself there, FLIP OVER! Changing a bad habit isn’t always easy, but it’s surely worth it this time around!
#2 Self Adjustments or ‘Cracking Your Own Neck’ Puts Too Much Motion Into Your Neck
I’m literally CRINGING as I write this right now.
If you’re a ‘self adjuster’ then you’ve most likely been doing it for YEARS, making it seem impossible to stop….but you HAVE TO! If you’re just bending your head to the side (without speed or force) and hearing a cracking noise, without experiencing pain, then you’re most likely ok. BUT, the problem is those that place their hands on their head and PUSH, WITH FORCE to hear a crack, MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY! I’ve also seen patients do the ‘whip it’ where they turn they head super fast to hear the ‘cracking sound, which is also super bad.
I know that it feels good when you release that pressure in the neck, but both of these movements create hyper mobility in the joints there (too much movement because you’re doing it SO many times a day), not to mention it’s not specific, which can cause some serious issues over time. Most of my self adjusters have chronic headaches from doing this for years.
So how do you fix this? Try to do it less and less each day and, instead, try stretching your neck to possibly get a release instead of adding force. Of course, it’s best to see a chiropractor and/or physical therapist to help stabilize the situation, because we often find it’s too late to fix on your own.
#1 Poor Posture on Your Computer & Phone Can Cause Irreversible Affects To Your Neck
Did you guess our #1 answer?! Of course you did!
The problem with staring down at our phones and computers all day is that it adds up over time. It’s constantly doing it for years and years that starts to cause changes in our spine and posture, which can often lead to pain and health problems. If you’re not feeling any pain now, great! Be proactive and get ahead of the scenario by doing the proper stretches, exercises, and ergonomic changes (adjusting your computer to fit you).
Of course, it’s HIGHLY recommended to download the Posture Protector App, because the app will encourage you to have proper posture while using your cell phone!
Stay tuned for next weeks post about proper desk ergonomics. I’ll be giving tips about how to fix your computer, mouse, chair and a WHOLE LOT MORE! 🙂
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Thanks so much for reading! Here’s to better posture and better health!
Dr. Nichole 🙂
Co-Creator: Posture Protector