Watch Your Back
Stiff shoulders? Lumbar pain? Bad posture? A new piece of technology aims to get people in the perfect upright position
For those constantly dealing with the pains of chronic lower back pain, there’s no need to feel alone – or miserable. According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans suffer from lower back pain at any given time, which equals more than $50 billion in medical expenses every year.
Many of those issues, however, can be resolved with good posture, exercise and a healthy diet. And while none of those lifestyle changes are a simple overnight fix, changing your posture is particularly challenging. Whether we want to or not, we all know the basics of how to eat better and how to exercise, but sitting correctly isn’t as easy to understand. However, given that the average person sits more than nine hours a day, good posture is a key to better health.
Since most sitting is done in an office, the general advice is to adjust your chair to provide lower back support while also allowing your feet to be flat on the floor with your knees at an even height with your hips. However, striking that pose is one thing. Keeping it all day is easier said than done.
In this day and age of feedback health devices, from Fitbit to Nike FuelBand, technology is trying to save the modern day back. LUMOback ($149) is a new device that looks like a belt and is worn against the lower back. The moment you slouch or your lower back has incorrect posture, it vibrates. According to their website, the device is trying to correct poor lower back posture – the source of most back pain – by creating muscle memory. The sensor connects wirelessly to an app that tracks your posture and activities in real time.
If the idea of wearing a belt all day to monitor your posture sounds unreasonable – or expensive – try these tips to prevent back pain from the American Chiropractic Association, Arlington, Va.
Tips to Prevent Back Pain
• Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
• Remain active – under the supervision of your doctor of chiropractic.
• Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
• Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening.
• Maintain proper posture.
• Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
• Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
• Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
• Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
• Work with your doctor of chiropractic to ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically correct.
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