The goal of any doctor should be to get a patient healthy and keep them healthy. Better yet, following a doctor’s advice can help someone stay healthy so that they don’t get sick or injured in the first place. That’s one thing we’re here to tackle as your local chiropractor: helping you stay healthy after you see us.

We love to see our clients at our Lexington and Columbia chiropractic clinics, but we also want to make it so that they come in for standard chiropractic health instead of lumbering in with some sort of injury. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions you might want to consider so that you don’t need extreme chiropractic care.

Replace That Mattress

Old mattresses can lead to a host of problems with the body. Once a mattress starts to fail, it can lead to low spots and offer considerably less support than when it was new.

Unfortunately, many people will put off buying a new mattress for years. In most circumstances, a mattress doesn’t just give out overnight. It’s a slow decline; there’s not a specific day where it’s fine and then it’s no longer usable. That makes it very easy to put off looking for a new one. But if you’ve been having back problems with no clear reason why, it might be a good idea to replace your mattress with one that offers more support.

Be Careful of Your Devices

Guess what humanity didn’t do for thousands of year? Look down at phones and other electronic devices.

The human head is heavy, and when we look down at our phones we’re putting strain on our necks. No matter whether we’re standing or sitting, leaning the head forward makes the head feel heavier and causes the neck to work harder. A head looking straight ahead weighs about 10 pounds, but if you’re leaning forward at a 60-degree angle, it’s the equivalent of 60 pounds of strain on your neck! (If that sounds weird, hold a 20-pound weight at arm’s length. Then bring it in and hold it against your chest. Now you can see how the center of gravity of a weight can affect how much strain is put on your muscles.)

Unfortunately, all of this pressure isn’t just affect your neck muscles. It’s also putting pressure on the discs of the spine. So this year, resolve not to get “texting neck.” If you are using your phone, lift it higher instead of looking down at it. Or better yet, resolve to simply look at it less.

Get Active

We don’t have to tell you that “getting more exercise” is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. Americans as a whole don’t get enough exercise, and it’s starting to show up in the nation’s health report.

How does this relate to chiropractic care? As you exercise, your muscles are getting stronger. And if your muscles are doing most of the work, you’re putting less stress on the spine itself. Strengthening your back and core muscles is one of the best ways to avoid emergency chiropractic treatment.

Commit to Proper Lifting Techniques

One of the most common ways that people hurt their backs is by lifting something. Sometimes the object is too heavy, while other times they twist as they lift.

At one point or another, we’ve all been told what to avoid when lifting. But many people simply don’t listen, never imagining that they could be the ones who get injured. And before you know it they are in need of bulging disk treatment. If you’re looking for a way to protect your back in the new year, resolve to put your ego aside and commit to proper lifting techniques.

Lose Weight if Necessary

Have you ever seen an overweight dachshund, aka wiener dog, with a belly that drags the ground? It might seem cute at first, but all of that extra weight is severely hurting the dog’s spine. Extra weight on the animal pulls the spine into strange positions, which can have lasting effects for the dog.

Unfortunately, the same can happen with just about any creature, humans included. And the thing is, greater weight on any part of the frame is going to affect the way a person walks. Overall weight pulls a person down, putting more pressure on the spine and the discs between the vertebrae. Weight that’s carried out in front — the typical beer belly — can cause a person to compensate by leaning back and putting undue pressure on the spine.

If your doctor has told you to lose some weight, whether it’s your primary care physician or your local chiropractor, you should listen to them. Not only will your heart be much healthier and you’ll avoid health problems like diabetes, but you’ll also be helping to reduce the amount of weight your spine has to carry around.

Get A Massage

Massage therapy is a great way to help your body recover from an injury, and it can also be an excellent complement to chiropractic treatments. Massages can help to relieve sore muscles and rid the body of lymph.

But it’s not all about the muscles themselves: massage also provide relaxation. Endorphins (feel-good chemicals) are released by the brain due to the human touch we receive and the pleasant feelings of the massage itself. In other words, getting a massage isn’t just about the physical sensation, but the mental relaxation it offers. Getting a massage will simply make you happier in the new year.

If you’re in need of a massage — and most people are — we offer massage therapy at our Columbia chiropractic office. Click here to learn more about our services.

Visit Your Local Chiropractor

If you’ve been in for a chiropractic visit before, you know just how good it can feel when it’s time to go. If your musculoskeletal system isn’t feeling right, or if you’ve injured your back or neck in some way, your local chiropractor can help discover exactly what’s going on and suggest ways to fix it. Click here to choose our Columbia or Lexington chiropractic office and discover what we have to offer!