So you’ve found the right chiropractor for you and have been experiencing the many benefits of regular chiropractic adjustments, including pain relief, increased range of motion, and management of some of your chronic medical ailments.
But how do you make these benefits stick when you aren’t at the chiropractor’s office? How can you maintain a healthy spine in the days or weeks between your adjustments? Let’s dive into the ways to take care of your back and take charge of your wellness!
Many of these tips would be just as relevant for someone who has never set foot in a chiropractor’s office. This first piece of advice is a great example of that. No matter how old you are, what conditions you struggle with, or what your life situation is, staying properly hydrated is one of the most important aspects of your overall health.
On the one hand, being dehydrated can lead to fatigue, dizziness, lack of focus, and muscle cramps. All of these can negatively impact both your daily life and your ability to reap the benefits of your latest chiropractic adjustment.
On the other hand, attaining proper hydration levels helps keep your body temperature at the right level, lubricates your joints, regulates your blood pressure, and lets your body transport nutrients (and thus, energy) to the necessary areas throughout your body.
The natural question arises: “What does it mean to be properly hydrated?” The classic rule of thumb is to aim for eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. While this is a straightforward, easy-to-remember guideline that works for most people, the answer for each individual may be a bit more complicated.
For instance, a person’s age, body weight, daily activity levels, and even the climate they live in can all have an impact on their ideal hydration level. As a baseline, drink between 0.5-1 fluid ounces per pound of body weight (e.g. a 200-pound man should drink a minimum of 100 ounces, or 12.5 cups, of water per day).
Finally, drink an additional 12 ounces of water before, during, and after any exercise or other strenuous activities, and drink an above-average amount if the weather in your area is hot and/or humid.
Stretch and Stay Active
Perhaps the next most important part of maintaining overall health in general and spinal health in particular is remaining physically active. At a minimum, you should complete any daily exercises and stretches that your chiropractor prescribes.
If your body feels up to it, you can also pursue additional muscle-building exercises, such as weightlifting, calisthenics, or yoga. Even if your current level of chronic back pain limits your ability to do anything too strenuous, find small ways to incorporate more movement and activity into your day without putting too much stress on your spine.
Take the farthest parking spot at work, use the stairs instead of the elevator, and go for a walk over your lunch break. Even doing some stretches or leg lifts during a commercial break during our favorite TV show can provide great health benefits, such as strengthening yourself against further injury.
Maintain Good Posture and Balance
Staying active is important for spinal health, but so is maintaining good balance and posture even when you aren’t moving. Ask your chiropractor for guidance in developing proper posture while walking, sitting, and standing.
Find ways to practice ergonomics at your job as well as at home so that you can avoid poor posture that puts strain on your spine. This could include upgrading your office setup to a standing desk (such as with a standing desk converter) or sparing a few minutes throughout the day to step away from your desk and take a walk or stretch break.
In terms of balance, you can practice simple exercises each day. For example, you can see how long you can safely stand on only one leg, starting with a short amount of time (e.g. 5-15 seconds) and then gradually working your way up to longer times.
Follow Your Chiropractor’s Treatment Plan
Your chiropractor is a wonderful resource for learning the ins and outs of holistic self-care and wellness. Don’t be afraid to ask your chiropractor for help when it comes to finding the right stretches, promoting solid sleep hygiene, judging your current posture and balance, staying active without overdoing it, or anything else related to taking care of your spinal health.
Any chiropractic care specialist will be delighted to work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that advances your spinal health safely, effectively, and in an all-natural fashion. Maintain open lines of communication by letting your chiropractor know what advice has worked for you, what hasn’t, and what you would like to know more about.
Contact Cornerstone Chiropractic Today to Schedule an Appointment
Want to be free of back or neck pain but unsure where to look? The chiropractic experts at Cornerstone Chiropractic will be happy to use their neurological-based approach to health to improve your overall wellness, both during and in between your appointments. Contact us today by phone, email, or online form to make an appointment!