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Guest post written by Brad Krause
If you want to get the most positive benefits of your regular chiropractic appointments, you must do what you can at home to maximize their effectiveness. You can’t go to the chiropractor every day. It’s a type of therapy that needs to be complemented with other lifestyle changes. Here are some tips on how to stretch your chiropractic care even further, courtesy of The Chronic Diary.
Chiropractic Care Tips Beyond the Appointment
Exercise, exercise, exercise
If you experience chronic neck, back, shoulder, or leg pain, there’s really no way to overstress the importance of getting enough exercise.
There’s only so much a chiropractor can do for a person living a sedentary lifestyle. Strengthening exercises help to make muscles stronger, which help with many types of chronic pain.
Pain can make exercise a challenge, but you don’t want to get caught in a vicious cycle of pain due to lack of exercise and then lack of exercise due to pain.
Break out with some basic stretching exercises and start from there. Work your way up. Start small by walking your dog for 30 minutes. If you don’t have one, become a dog walker or volunteer to walk dogs at a local animal shelter.
Dogs are great exercise partners because they will go at your pace and never judge. Increase the intensity of your exercises when your body feels ready.
You may also want to consider getting a service dog to help with chronic pain. Medium explains the many benefits of service animals for those experiencing physical discomfort and other issues, such as depression.
Of course, if you decide a service dog is the way to go, you must make sure you care for him or her properly. For example, make sure you get a dog harness that is comfortable and secure.
The more endurance and flexibility your body has, the more you’ll get out of chiropractic treatments.
Eat a healthier diet
Excess weight is a leading cause of ailments that require a chiropractor. The best way to reduce the stress on your muscles, bones, and joints is to lose some of that extra fat.
It’s not just about weight, however. You must change your diet to reduce foods that have inflammatory properties.
These include sugar, refined flour, red meat, caffeine, and alcohol. You can increase your intake of water, fish, and nuts, as these are known to reduce inflammation.
“Proper nutrition is a necessary health behavior to encourage musculoskeletal health. If you are seeking chiropractic care to recover from an injury or even just to maintain musculoskeletal health, nutrition becomes even more important. Nutrition and chiropractic care are interwoven to the point where even the slightest nutritional mishap can take away from all the good work you have done with your chiropractor,” says The Joint Corp.
Be mindful of everyday musculoskeletal strain
It’s important that you do everything you can in your daily life to reduce the amount of strain you put on your musculoskeletal system.
When working at a desk, make sure you sit up straight. Keep the 90/90 rule, which means your elbow and knees are both bent at 90 degrees.
Are you moving or preparing to do some yard work that will require heavy lifting? Just because it’s only going to require one day of strain doesn’t mean it’s ok.
Do not lift heavy objects yourself while packing, and whatever you do lift, learn how to lift properly first.
If you are experiencing severe back pain or other issues, consider hiring a lawn maintenance service to take care of the job for you.
When lounging on the couch or in bed, make sure you’re bent from the waist and not lying flat with your head/neck propped up. Stop cracking and popping your back and neck; you could undo your chiropractor’s work.
Get some sleep
Sleep deficits negatively affect nearly every system in your body. A good portion of your pain could be directly related to lack of sleep.
One tip for getting solid, uninterrupted sleep is to refashion your bedroom as a sleep-only room. Don’t watch TV in bed. Leave the computer in the office.
Don’t browse Facebook when you’re trying to fall asleep. If you train your brain to think about the bedroom as the sleep room, you’ll experience higher quality sleep.
Your chiropractor, while great, is not a miracle worker. In order for your treatments to be effective, you have to practice good habits on your end.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
The information provided in this post is not intended to replace medical or professional advice. Do not disregard any medical advice you have received after reading any of my posts. For more, please read my disclosure page.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
After spending most of his time in a corporate setting and neglecting his own self-care far too long, Brad embraced his calling and became a full-time life coach. He now spends the rest of his life helping people get a better foothold on their wellness above all else.
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