4 Steps Smart People Take to Avoid Back and Neck Pain

Neck and back pain account for over $80 billion dollars in health care costs each year.

In fact, 1 in 4 adults experience back pain every 3 months! That’s a staggering statistic and we are on the front line delivering cutting edge treatments to eliminate back pain. While we help every patient that comes to our office we also want to educate those who haven’t experienced chronic pain and help you live a healthier life.

These are steps that smart people take to avoid being part of the statistics.

  • Good Posture

    • Following the sit-slide-lean rule will always keep your back in a healthy neutral position. Any deviation from this position will add stress to your back and put you at risk of an injury.

    • Avoid forward head posture. It’s easy to find 5-10 people anywhere you go who are staring at their phone, chin buried in their chest. That’s a terrible position to be in. It adds up to 60 lbs of stress to your neck. Keep your phones and devices in front of your eyes as much as possible.

    • Poor posture adds 300% more stress on the disc and joints of your spine! This leads to the build up of adhesion and degeneration. Yikes! If you catch yourself slouching, start making these easy changes and keep your back happy.

  • Move More

    • Take the stairs instead of the elevator, leave the desk for 5-10 minutes per hour, or go on a short walk during lunch are ways to improve your health. Being stuck in a chair 8 hours a day is stressful. It’s hard on your mental and physical state. Get up and move to recharge!

      • This allows blood to pump through your muscles and keeps your joints lubricated. When you stop moving regularly, muscles get less blood and adhesion builds up. This leads to chronic tightness, pain, and ultimately an injury.

      • Set a timer or utilize wearable technology that encourages you to get moving. Our staff uses the Apple Watch and Garmin Watch, but there are many other options available now.

  • Varied Exercises

    • Variety is the spice of life. There is no exception when it comes to exercise. Constant variation puts different stresses on your body. If you are doing the same exercise day in and day out you will break down faster. By varying your workouts it allows you to recover so you can continue to be healthy and pain free.

    • Variation puts healthy stress in rested areas of the body while allowing the strained areas to recover.

      • Dr. Nottoli and Dr. Schultz’s Blueprint

        • Strength training variations (kettlebell, dumbbell, barbell, bodyweight)

        • Cardio variations (run, airdyne, circuits, rowing)

        • Yoga

        • Meditation for mental fortitude and clarity

        • Hiking or walking

        • Play time with kids and animals

  • Modify household activities (gardening, shoveling, moving furniture, yard cleanup)

    • If you find yourself working in the yard or around the house for long hours, take breaks. Repetitive motions such as shoveling, pulling weeds, or cleaning increase the stress put on the neck and back. Break your workload in to 45-60 minute increments with breaks between each shift. If it’s more strenuous break it up every 20-30 minutes.

    • I know it sounds like it will take longer to finish the job but you will actually find you can work longer and be pain free.

Start following these 4 simple steps smart people do to avoid neck and back pain and see the positive changes happen. If you have done or are following these steps but still have pain, it’s likely you have an undiagnosed injury. It needs to be understood and fixed. Fortunately, the doctors at Functional Spine and Sport take the time to fully understand your problem and how they can fix it for good.